Central Park's Belvedere Castle Is Finally Reopening
Soon you can spend time in a castle without even leaving New York City.
The castle was originally built in 1858 and has served many purposes, including being a lookout point for the entire park, as well as serving as a weather station for the U.S. Weather Bureau. From the 1960s to the 1980s, however, the castle was left to deteriorate.
It was reopened as a Central Park visitor center in the early 1980s and remained open, even through a few small renovations, through the 2010s. In February 2018, it was officially closed by the Central Park Conservancy for a $12-million renovation, funded by The Thompson Family Foundation, according to Gothamist.
One of the biggest changes, according to Curbed NY, was the replacement of the windows and doors with clear, glass panes to recreate the open-air feel that the original architects intended for the castle. The plan for Belvedere Castle, in general, was to return it to its original glory by cleaning and reappointing its stones, wooden pavilions, and a decorative wooden tower on the castle’s northwest corner, according to the Conservancy.
In addition, the castle’s pavements and interiors have been replaced with bluestone floors and ceilings to recreate the original look of the castle. Stones on the floor have even been laid out in the architects’ original design.
The castle is getting a few modern upgrades as well. There are new mechanical systems and utility services, as well as new drainage, waterproofing, and upgraded lighting.
Belvedere Castle is located in the middle Central Park (around 79th street), south of the Great Lawn and Turtle Pond.