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NYC - Central Park: Belvedere Castle | by wallyg
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NYC - Central Park: Belvedere Castle

Belvedere Castle, capping Vista Rock in the middle of Central Park around 79th Street, was designed by architects Calvert Vaux and Jacob Wrey Mould as a Victorian folly in the original Central Park "Greensward" plan. Constructed in 1869 of Manhattan schist quarried in the park and dressed with gray granite, the design is a hybrid of Gothic and Romanesque styles. Belvedere Castle provided a lookout to the south over The Ramble to the north over the rectangular receiving reservoir, which has been replaced by the Great Lawn, and Turtle Pond.

 

Originally built as a shell with only open doorway and window openings, the castle later housed the New York Meteorological Observatory, which was taken over by the United States Weather Bureau in 1912. Starting in 1919, the National Weather Service began taking meteorological measurements from the castle's tower.

 

The object of vandalism and deterioration, the castle was closed to the public in the 1960s before being restored and reopened in 1983. In 1995, the Conservancy's Historic Preservation Crew replaced the painted wooden loggia, working from Vaux's designs, with a more weighty granite structure and corner tower with conical cap.

 

Central Park was designated a scenic landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission in 1974.

 

National Historic Register #66000538 (1966)

 

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Taken on September 18, 2006