The New Social Order

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An Urban Fortress


Eclectic Architecture in the Park

While monarchs have never ruled the U.S. as we know it, that hasn’t weakened our interest in castles and royal lore. In 1865, Calvert Vaux and Jacob Wrey Mould designed Belvedere Castle in Central Park as a fantasy structure without any specific purpose. A strong stone facade, grand turret, and flag, however, suggested a very real and regal home. In 1919, the National Weather Service finally made use of the building by taking wind speed and direction measurements from the castle’s tower. While the rest of the city heads to Sheep Meadow to tan, venture to the castle for majestic views of Turtle Pond and the surrounding wildlife.

If you want a more comprehensive view of the park, take a walking tour. Guides point out former filming locations for movies and shows from Gossip Girl to Rosemary’s Baby. The two-hour tour leads walkers to fountains, monuments, sculptures, bridges, and ponds they might otherwise miss.

Location: Mid-park at 79th Street

Hours: 10:00AM—5:00PM (excluding Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day)