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In 1872, the builders completed the project by adding Gothic and Romanesque architectural styles. The castle's original intent had no real purpose except to provide picturesque views for visitors.
The pavilions, terraces, and structure became known as the Belvedere, which means. 'beautiful view' in Italian.
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Today the castle houses one of the park’s visitor centers and a park gift shop. During operating hours, visitors can explore the additional terraces for an incredible view of the park’s Ramble, Turtle Pond, and the Great Lawn, a 55-acre area popular destination for picnicking, sunbathing, and bird watching. Central Park’s Ramble is a 38-acre winding area of trails between 73rd and 78th Street.
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In 1919, the U.S. Weather Bureau converted the building into a weather station. The Central Park Weather Service added doors, windows, and offices inside the structure. Central Park Weather Service also began using the facility to take scientific measurements.
In the 1960s, when the Weather Bureau evacuated, the building fell into disrepair, and vandals began looting the area. Then in 1983, the Central Park Conservancy renovated the building, added the visitor’s center, and reopened it to the public. The bureau still measures temperature, wind, and rainfall at the Belvedere from a fenced-in area to the south of the building.
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The first floor of the castle is open daily. There is no admission fee, but donations are accepted.