Belvedere Castle

Belvedere Castle sits upon Vista Rock, the second highest natural elevation [Summit Rock, at 83rd Street overlooking Central Park West is higher.] in Central Park, New York City. It was designed as an additional feature of the Central Park "Greensward" plan by Calvert Vaux and the sculptor Jacob Wrey Mould, when the team of Olmsted, Vaux and Mould were reappointed to oversee the park's construction once again in 1865. The Croton Aqueduct board transferred ownership of the site to the Park in 1867 and the existing fire tower was demolished. [Rogers 1987:115.] Belvedere Castle was built in 1869, using Manhattan schist from excavations elsewhere in the park, dressed with gray granite. The castle provided a feature—a folly—that capped the natural-looking woodlands of The Ramble, as seen from the formal Bethesda Terrace. As the plantings matured, the castle has disappeared from its original intended viewpoint.

Balancing the mass of the main castle structure, Vaux's original design [The design, published in a lithograph, is illustrated in Rosenzweig and Blackmar 1992:203.] had called for a more weighty Manhattan schist and granite structure with a corner tower with conical cap, with the existing lookout over parapet walls between them. To reduce costs it was revised, before Olmsted and Vaux were dismissed a second time, in November 1870, and completed under the new Tammany Hall regime [Rosenzweig and Blackmar 1992:269f.] as an open painted wood pavilion.

When it was built, the view from Belvedere Castle provided a vista over the rectangular receiving reservoir, which has been replaced by the Great Lawn, [The Croton Reservoir was filled in with City building rubble, beginning with spoil from construction of the IND Eighth Avenue Line from 1930 and completed in 1934.] an oval of turf with eight baseball diamonds, loosely defined by plantings of trees in clumps in the manner of the English landscape garden, and, at the foot of Vista Rock, the Turtle Pond, redesigned in 1997 as a naturalistic planting, in which no single vantage-point reveals the water's full extent. Sunken concrete shelving at varying depths provide ideal water depths for shoreline plants such as lizard's tail, bullrush, turtlehead, and blueflag iris. The success of habitat for birds, insects, amphibians, and reptiles is embodied in sightings of species of dragon-fly not previously sighted in Central Park.The castle housed the New York Meteorological Observatory, which was taken over by the United States Weather Bureau in 1912. It is still the site at which meteorological data is collected for Central Park.The two fanciful wooden pavilions deteriorated without painting and upkeep and were removed before 1900. [Ca. 1900 photograph in Barlow 1987:114 illustration.] Belvedere Castle, the object of much vandalism and deterioration, was closed to the public in the 1960s. It was restored and reopened by the Central Park Conservancy on May 1, 1983. In 1995, the Conservancy's Historic Preservation Crew replaced the painted wooden loggia of the castle, working from Vaux's designs, on the granite piers and walls that had survived.

Belvedere Castle was used in exterior shots of the castle where Count Von Count lived on Sesame Street. []


*Rogers, Elizabeth Barlow et al., 1987. "Rebuilding Central Park: A Management and Restoration Plan" (MIT Press for the Central Park Conservancy).
*Rosenzweig, Roy and Elizabeth Blackmar, 1992. "The Park and the People" (Cornell University Press)

External links

* [ Central Park Conservancy:Belvedere Castle]
* [ Central Park Conservancy: Turtle Pond]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Belvedere Castle — liegt auf der zweithöchsten Erhebung (Vista Rock) im Central Park in New York City und rund 250 m westlich des Metropolitan Museum of Art, zwischen der den Park durchquerenden 79. Straße und dem Turtle Pond. [1] Nördlich des Schlosses, am gege …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Belvedere Castle — 40° 46′ 46″ N 73° 58′ 09″ W / 40.77944, 73.96906 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Belvedere — (italienisch „bel vedere“: „schöne Aussicht“) heißen Sehenswürdigkeiten in: Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Deutschland 2 Österreich 3 Schweiz 4 Italien …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Castle — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Castle, mot anglais qui signifie château, peut désigner : Sommaire 1 Patronyme 2 Toponyme …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Castle Belvedere — (Буковель,Украина) Категория отеля: Адрес: Karpatskaya Street 121a, Буковель, 7859 …   Каталог отелей

  • Castle of Mey — Castle of Mey, Seeseite Das Cas …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Belvedere Marittimo — Infobox CityIT official name = Comune di Belvedere Marittimo img coa = img coa small = image caption = region = RegioneIT|sigla=CAL province = ProvinciaIT (short form)|sigla=CS (CS) mayor = Arch. Mauro D Aprile mayor party = elevation footnotes …   Wikipedia

  • Castle of Moncalieri — The Castle of Moncalieri is a palace in Moncalieri (province of Turin), Piedmont, in northern Italy. It is one of the Residences of the Royal House of Savoy listed by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites in 1997.HistoryThe first structure was a… …   Wikipedia

  • NH Belvedere Vienna (Vienna) — NH Belvedere Vienna country: Austria, city: Vienna (City South) NH Belvedere Vienna NH Belvedere Vienna is located close to the Botanical Garden of the Belvedere castle. The hotel is just 800 metres from the St. Stephen s Cathedral and the city… …   International hotels

  • Doe Castle — Castle Doe, Barmkin and Keep Doe Castle, or Caisleán na dTuath, near Creeslough, County Donegal, was historically a stronghold of Clan Suibhne, with architectural parallels to the Scottish Tower house. Built in the 16th c. it is one of the better …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.