Located in the heart of Central Park lies the exquisite Belvedere Castle which has now reopened after a 15-month long period of renovations.
The castle, a picture perfect structure straight out of a Disney movie and complete with a charming lookout tower, was first conceived by the park’s designers, Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, in 1858. At first, the castle was just used as a beautiful accent to the surroundings, then in 1919 it was transformed into the U.S. Weather Bureau and was closed off to the public until it reopened in 1983.
Since then, the park palace has further deteriorated until about a year and a half ago when the Conservatory decided to restore the structure to its former allure. These renovations highlighted cleaning and repainting the Belvedere’s exterior and interior masonry, installing new drainage and waterproofing systems, recreating a wood tower, restoring the wood pavilions, upgrading lighting, replacing existing windows, doors, and terrace pavements, repairing interior floors and ceilings and modernizing mechanical systems and utility services.
The castle officially reopens on June 28, but the final touch to the restoration will include a route from the Castle to the East Drive for accessibility. To celebrate this summer fantasy, the Castle will feature new illuminating lights to complete the Belvedere (meaning “beautiful view” in Italian) spectacle. Now that the Conservatory has finished the onsite repairs, venture through the park to this romantic palace perched atop Turtle Pond for the perfect fairytale.