The 9.6-acre Bryant Park is unique in that it is part of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation but privately managed. Located adjacent to the New York City Public Library, the history of the park dates to 1686, when Thomas Dongan, New York’s colonial governor, designated the area a public space. George Washington’s troops crossed the area while retreating from the Battle of Long Island in 1776, and in 1823, the site was designated a potter’s field (bodies were moved to Wards Island in 1840). The first park at this site, Reservoir Square, opened in 1847. The park was renamed in honor of New York Evening Post editor and abolitionist William Cullen Bryant in 1884.
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