Bryant Park Restoration Corporation (changed to Bryant Park Corporation (BPC) in 2006) was co-founded in 1980 by Dan Biederman and Andrew Heiskell, Chairman of Time Inc. and the New York Public Library. Initially supported by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, BPC is now funded by assessments on property and businesses adjacent to the park, and by revenue generated from events held at the park. BPC is the largest U.S. effort to provide private management, with private funding, to a public park.
By the 1970s, Bryant Park had become a dangerous haven because of drug dealers and was widely seen as a symbol of New York City decline. BPC immediately brought significant changes that made the park once again a place that people wanted to visit. Biederman, a proponent of the “Broken Windows Theory” expounded by James Q. Wilson and George L. Kelling in a seminal 1982 article in Atlantic Monthly, instituted a rigorous program to clean the park, remove graffiti and repair the broken physical plant. BPC also created a private security staff to confront unlawful behavior immediately.