Central Park’s Belvedere Castle will reopen at the end of this week after 16 months of restorations.
This landmark structure was originally ideated in 1858 by the park’s designers, Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, with the intention of being “a whimsical open-air structure and lookout tower” over the park. In 1919, it was transformed into the U.S. Weather Bureau with windows and doors that closed it off. In the 1960s the station was moved and the structure was neglected until it’s reopening in 1983.
After 35 years of further deterioration to the landmark, the Conservancy decided to not only restore the structure but also give it some much needed renovations that are more in line with it’s original purpose.
According to the Central Park Conservancy, these necessary restorations to the longstanding structure included:
- Cleaning and repointing the Belvedere’s exterior and interior masonry
- Installing new drainage and waterproofing systems
- Restoring the wood pavilions on the main plaza and upper terraces
- Recreating a wood tower that was originally part of the large pavilion at the northwest corner
- Replacing existing terrace pavements with bluestone pavers laid out according to the historic design
- Replacing the existing windows and doors with clear pane, insulated glass to evoke the Belvedere’s original open-air design and control interior temperature and moisture
- Repairing and replacing interior bluestone floors and ceilings
- Modernizing mechanical systems and upgrading utility services
- Upgrading interior and exterior lighting
The castle will open to the public on Friday, June 28.
Also published on Medium.