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Stacey Leasca
February 24, 2018

The Belvedere Castle, located in the heart of Central Park, has long been a major tourist landmark. Those visiting New York City often flock to the fantasy-inspired building to take photos and get the best panoramic views of the park below. But, for those traveling to the famed location soon, we’re sorry to say you’ll be out of luck because the castle will be closed for construction for the rest of 2018.

“Our restoration of the Belvedere will address the overall condition of its structures and terraces, modernize systems that support its preservation and use, and restore lost aspects of the historic design,” the Central Park Conservancy said in a statement. “A future phase of this project will include providing an accessible route to the Belvedere, one of the most heavily visited destinations in the Park.”

Related: The Secret to Never Getting Lost in Central Park

For those unfamiliar with the whimsical magic of the Belvedere, it was first conceived by Calvert Vaux, co-designer of Central Park. Vaux imagined a miniature castle in 1869 that provided a lookout tower for guests.

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The castle was soon situated atop Vista Rock and provides visitors with views of the Great Lawn and the Ramble. The castle did serve one important purpose over the years, beyond being a major tourist destination. According to the Central Park Conservancy, in 1919 the castle was enclosed with windows and doors to serve as a station of the U.S. Weather Bureau.

Related: There’s a Secret Tunnel Under Central Park

However, in the 1960s the castle was closed following years of vandalism and deterioration. It was reopened in 1983 as a visitor center and gift shop.

And now, to bring it back to its former glory, the Central Park Conservancy plans to clean the exterior, install new drainage and waterproofing systems, restore the castle’s wood pavilions on the main plaza and upper terraces, recreate the wood tower that was originally part of the large pavilion, and more.

And while not getting to spend time in the castle stinks, there’s still plenty to do around Central Park. Just check out all the park's secrets here before you go.

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