Bryant Park


Low-Cost, High-Quality Programming

Bryant Park staff believes great public events don't have to be expensive to put on.

Angelito Jusay

On any given day, no matter the season, visitors to Bryant Park can enjoy a host of free amenities, activities, and entertainment programs. Contained within its 5.9 acres, the park is one of the densest and most-programmed public spaces on the planet. As one of the most famous urban renewal stories out there, the most amazing aspect of its success is its relatively low cost.

When we look at the price tag of some other high-profile placemaking projects, both by the initial costs and projected budgets are quite high. When Bryant Park closed in 1988 for a four-year renovation, the total cost was $8.9 million. Considering the number of people who have enjoyed the park since it’s reopening in 1992, that’s an astonishing deal, even when adjusting for inflation.

Cost-effectiveness has remained a priority here ever since. Bryant Park is funded by a combination of assessments on neighboring businesses and buildings, revenues from events, and concession fees. We accept no city funds nor charitable donations, and we’re directly answerable to our constituents, so we’re careful when spending money.

We’re always looking to improve the experience for park visitors, and some of our most popular amenities have been implemented at very low cost. Bryant Park Games, for example, was conceived with the idea of solving a problem: what to do with what was once relatively inactive, but valuable, space at the 40th Street Plaza. We placed some tables there and offered a few games for the public to play for free, and, in three years it has grown to be an attractive, lively part of the park packed with kids and adults.

Pétanque, Chess, Ping Pong, Putting & Kubb, and Art Cart, and the Reading Room are all other wildly popular amenities that are presented to the public at modest cost. These activities, along with our unparalleled array of public performances, is made possible by strong partnerships with some of the city’s greatest organizations.

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