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Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/ruanon

The enchanting castle in Central Park is closing for the rest of the year

Written by
Rebecca Fontana

You only have a few days left to visit the beautiful castle in the middle of Central Park before it closes for renovations! Though it's actually just a weather-reporting station and not Rapunzel’s lookout point, it’s worth paying a visit to the tower with stunning views of Turtle Pond and the Great Lawn. 

On Monday, February 26, Belvedere Castle in Central Park is closing for restorations and will remain closed until 2019. It was initially reported that the closure would happen last summer, but the overhaul has been delayed until now. 

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to Central Park in New York

Originally built as a lookout spot in 1869, the tower also served as a U.S. Weather Bureau station. (You know those reports on the official temperature or rainfall in Central Park? Those come from here.) Nowadays, it also has a nature observatory and a gift shop. 

The fortress is the backdrop of Shakespeare in the Park’s Delacorte Theater but will not affect the upcoming performances of Othello and Twelfth Night.

The castle was designed in 1869 and was last renovated in 1983, so it’s highly in need of a makeover to fix its Gothic and Romanesque architecture. The overhaul will fix drainage and masonry problems, and waterproofing and climate control systems will be added. The construction plan also includes replacing windows, doors, lighting fixtures and wood pavilions, and a wood tower that used to stand on the northwest pavilion will be recreated. 

The original reconstruction plan cost $300 million and also included repairs to two Central Park playgrounds. Anticipated future renovations to Belvedere Castle would create a path on the East Drive that would make the castle ADA accessible.  

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