Belvedere Castle

Central Park, New York, New York 10021 USA

Tour & Activity Deals

Belvedere Castle

Central Park Bike Tour

New York City
2 hours
From $49

Small-Group Photography Walking Tour of NYC

New York City
Varies
From $85

New York at Night Bike Tour

New York City
2 hours 30 minutes
From $55
Closed Now
Opens Thu 10a

“count von count's home!”

" When I see a castle, the first thing I want to know is what treasures and riches are inside it. The treasures inside this Central Park castle? Weather equipment! Obviously, Belvedere Castle wasn't built just to be a weather tower-- it was originally meant to be a Victorian folly, a decorative, fantasy structure solely built to look nice on the outside and be empty inside. It was constructed in the late 1860's, but by 1919, the Weather Service had found a use for the castle, as the home of their Central Park offices, measuring temperature, rainfall, wind and more from the site. In the 1960's, the Weather Service automated what they could and moved almost everything else to a new HQ, leaving the castle empty once again. It became the object of vandalism and graffiti until it was rescued and fixed up by the Central Park Conservancy in the 1980's. Now it's a visitor's center and houses the Henry Luce Nature Observatory, which is the perfect place to learn about all the natural wonders that Central Park has to offer. You can rent a field pack from them, which comes complete with binoculars, a map, and tons of reference material so you can really explore the park. Or, you can just check out the castle-- you get killer views of the Delacorte Theater, the Gret Lawn, the Turtle Pond and the Ramble. Even though the Weather Bureau no longer inhabits the building (why would they ever leave in the first place? Their offices were in a freaking castle!!) today, the wind is still measured from the castle tower, and more weather equipment is located just South of the grounds. If weather doesn't excite you, then maybe the fact that the castle was used for exterior shots of the Count von Count's castle in early episode of Sesame Street will! Ah hah hah!"-Roadtrippers Named for the Italian meaning "beautiful view," Central Park's Belvedere Castle offers park goers exactly what its name implies. With its two balconies, it supplies wonderful panoramic views that include some of Central Park's most beautiful and famous landmarks: theDelacorte Theater, the Great Lawn, the Turtle Pond and the Ramble. Originally designed in 1865 by Calvert Vauxand Jacob Wrey Mould, Belvedere Castle was intended to be a Victorian Folly, a fantasy structure that provides a great backdrop and views, but without a real intended purpose.  With its strong stone façade, grand turret and flag, the castle was merely a stunning attraction in Central Park. This all changed in 1919 when the National Weather Service began taking measurements from the castle's tower with scientific instruments that determine wind speed and direction. Additionally, just south of the castle, other data such as the rainfall was recorded and sent to the weather service's forecast office at Brookhaven National Library on Long Island. Belvedere Castle is still used for this purpose today.

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Belvedere Castle

Central Park
New York, New York
10021 USA

Hours

Closed Now
  • Sun - Sat: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

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