February 22, 1732 marked the birth of our nation’s first President, George Washington. Nowadays, the founding father’s birthday is celebrated as a federal holiday on Presidents Day, along with Abraham Lincoln’s, on the third Monday of February.
What does this have to do with Bryant Park?
In 1932, a replica of Federal Hall was constructed in the park to celebrate the bicentennial of George Washington. The original building was located on Wall Street and it was there that Washington took his first oath of office.
Shortly after the celebration, and filled with debris and construction equipment from the Sixth Avenue subway project, Bryant Park underwent a redesign by architect Lusby Simpson and Park’s Commissioner Robert Moses, bringing it one step closer to the lush Midtown oasis you see today.