For the history buffs out there, here’s a glimpse of Bryant Park from 1935.
The photo has you looking west toward 6th Avenue from a vantage point near the southern end of the back of the New York Public Library. To your left is the pathway we refer to as the 40th Street Allee, now fully covered by a canopy of branches and leaves from the trees, and to your right is the lawn, now bordered by gravel instead of stone. The center balustrade should look familiar, as well as the fountain that you can see in the far right of the frame, under the classic Coca Cola billboard. This design of the park was conceptualized by architect Lusby Simpson and implemented by Parks Department Commissioner and public-works “czar”, Robert Moses during the Great Depression.
Below left, an aerial shot dated 1931, of Bryant Park’s original design by architect Thomas Hastings. Below right, a view of Simpson’s redesign from above, 1939.
Visit our website for a more in depth look at the park’s evolution through the ages.