Bryant Park / 34th Street

Leadership

Remembering Hugh Hardy and David Rockefeller

Powerful New Yorkers gave Bryant Park and 34th Street an important boost.

Wall Street Journal
New York Times

We lost two great friends in the space of a week with the passing of architect Hugh Hardy on March 16 and banker/philanthropist David Rockefeller on March 20.

The jovial Mr. Hardy left his mark on NYC, to say the least. His work includes the stage at Radio City Music Hall, the Rainbow Room at Rockefeller Center, and the famed Windows of the World restaurant atop the World Trade Center.

When Bryant Park was lavishly renovated from 1988 to 1992, we were fortunate to have Mr. Hardy’s firm Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associates (HHPA) on board to design Bryant Park Grill, Bryant Park Café, and the four permanent food kiosks at the western end of the park. Popular from day one, our elegant eateries have stood the test of time and remain essential park amenities.

Mr. Hardy’s firm was also with us in 2002 when the 34th Street Partnership performed a lavish renovation of Herald and Greeley Squares. HHPA designed the food kiosks there, now occupied by Wafels & Dinges and Nuchas. The next time you’re in Bryant Park or on 34th Street, make a point to check out Hugh Hardy’s work. 

Back in 1979, David Rockefeller was party to a somewhat casual conversation that provided the impetus for one of the signature cases of urban renewal of our time. In that year, famed socialite Brooke Astor, who served on the Board of the New York Public Library, was appalled at the unsafe condition of adjacent Bryant Park. She urged fellow board member David Rockefeller to find a solution for the worsening “Needle Park.”

Few were as well-situated as Mr. Rockefeller to handle the situation. Within a year, the Bryant Park Corporation was created, with initial funds provided by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. Bryant Park Corporation immediately began to reclaim the park for New Yorkers, instituting security, sanitation, and capital repair measures that made the park safe, clean, and inviting to the public. Bryant Park is but one of hundreds of projects, big and small, undertaken by David Rockefeller or given his imprimatur. We are grateful for his role in the park’s rebirth, and salute him for his lifetime of civic-minded service. 

More from March 29, 2017

BRYANT PARK

It's time for our warm-weather activities to reopen for the season, including Art Cart, Games, Chess, Putting and Kubb, Petanque, and Ping Pong.

Ring in spring with Brianne Manz of Stroller in the City.

Bring the kids and enjoy an afternoon of free entertainment.

34TH STREET

Reports announce the location will open this fall.

Full event listings

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