Located close to West 79th, Belvedere Castle is the highest point in the park built on the second highest natural rock bed. The name translates into ” beautiful view” in Italian. The name fits what Castle offers you, you can see a panoramic view of Great Lawn and The Rumble from its observation deck. This hybrid of Gothic and Romanesque style folly was designed by Calvert Vaux and Jacob Wrey Mould in addition to Greensward Plan.
Belvedere Castle is very close to one of the transverse road of the park. During the construction, the only method to open tunnels was exploding with gunpowder. However, this would have affected the building. So the workers hand-mined this tunnel, and the schist from the tunnel was used to build the castle. Then it turned into a castle from tales. In 1919, the Castle was started to be used by New York Meteorological Observatory. The wind speed and direction used to be measured from the tower as well as the temperature. The original measurement tools can still be seen at the top of the tower. The measurements of Central Park are still taken from this location even though the New York Meteorological Observatory moved to another location in the 1960s.
Then, during the Era of Vandalism, Belvedere Castle became vulnerable to vandalism, it was deserted and painted graffiti. Central Park Conservancy had a restoration of the Castle in 1983, and since then it has been serving as one of the five Visitor Centers of the park. You could visit the Castle with your family to have information about the Castle and bird watching, you could even get free kits for birdwatching in the Rumble. In 2018, Conservancy started a new renovation to the Castle which may continue till 2019.