Whether you call it a facelift, renovation or repair, several popular locations in Central Park are closing soon for much-needed tender loving care. Luckily, the closings are scheduled for early fall, after the peak season to enjoy Central Park, for both NYC residents and NYC visitors.
To be closed are Belvedere Castle and two playgrounds on the Upper East Side.
Here’s what you need to know, so you don’t go.
Belvedere Castle was built in 1842. The last renovation was in the 1980s, so it’s due for a tweaking, including to add access to people with disabilities, and to repair deterioration to its wood pavilions, terraces and stairs. It’s a lot of work, and will be done in phases, so parts of the castle will be open while work progresses. The Central Park Conservancy has not told us how long they expect the entire upgrade to take.
Just in case you think your kitchen or bathroom renovation is complicated, here’s what’s on the list for Belvedere Castle:
- New draining and waterproofing systems for walls and terraces
- Clean and reset masonry
- Restore wood pavilions and recreate decorative wood tower at northwest corner
- Replace hexagonal asphalt pavers installed in the 1980s fix with square bluestone pavers in a checkered pattern, similar to the original 1800s pattern.
- Windows, the main entrance door, and the upper terrace doors will be replaced with clear-pane glass to mimic the castle’s original appearance as an open-air pavilion.
- Replace interior with 1800s-style bluestone ceiling and floor panels, and modernize mechanical
- Regrade and realign the existing park paths between the East Drive and the castle to make it more accessible.
Bernard Family Playground, East 108th St.
One of the original Robert Moses playgrounds built in the 1930s, it was reconstructed in 1991, but needs upgrades to meet current safety standards and rebuild the water spray area to conserve water, not waste water. Swings will be re-alligned to allow more room for swinging, new climbing and sandbox features will be added, and the playground will be repaved.
Billy Johnson Playground, East 67th St.
One of the newer Central Park playgrounds, it was built in the early 1980s, and requires updating for accessibility and safety rules introduced after its opening. Bucket swings will be replaced, a climbing net will be added in the sand area, and the water wasting spray under the stone bridge will be replaced by spray jets that don’t waste water. The playground also will be repaved and new rustic seating areas added that fit with the natural stone motif of the playgound.
Central Park official website