Photos via Central Park Conservancy
The Belvedere in Central Park was conceived as a miniature castle by Calvert Vaux, co-designer of the park, in 1869. It opened with some of the best views of the city’s prized green space–the name Belvedere was chosen as it is Italian for “beautiful view.” But the years have taken their toll on the stone structure, which has not been renovated since 1983. Now the Central Park Conservancy will close it to address issues like cracked pavement, a leaky roof, and plumbing issues. Starting this Monday, February 26th, Belvedere Castle will be off-limits to the public for its restoration, and will not reopen until 2019.
More details of the reno
Joggers in Central Park, via Wikimedia
If you’re suddenly feeling inspired to start running with all the talk of the New York City Marathon on Sunday, a map created by the Central Park Conservancy will help you get moving. While Central Park no longer serves as the only spot marathon contestants race through as it did during the city’s first marathon in 1970, it remains an oasis for runners of all experience levels. The conservancy’s guide maps out the many loops and trails of the park to help you hit the ground running in preparation for next year’s marathon, or even just starting a new hobby.
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Central Park in Autumn, photo via Anthony Quintano on Flickr
Central Park’s most dazzling and vibrant season has arrived. With over 20,000 trees and 150 species of trees spread across 843-acres, Central Park in autumn remains a cannot-miss spectacle for New Yorkers. Thankfully, the Central Park Conservancy created a fall foliage map making it easy to find the leaves with the brightest shades of gold, yellow, red and orange this season.
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Photo of the Central Park Conservancy Film Festival via Shinya Suzuki’s Flickr
Celebrate the end of summer with the 2017 Central Park Conservancy Film Festival, which kicks off Monday night with the showing of the 2014 remake of “Annie.” In addition to Central Park screenings, the film festival will include free outdoor screenings in Harlem’s Marcus Garvey Park and Jacob Riis Park in the Rockaways. This year’s lineup features movies filmed in New York, including “The Wiz,” The Great Gatsby,” and “The Godfather.” All of the movie screenings are free to attend and tickets are not necessary.
More details here
Central Park’s Belvedere Castle will undergo major renovations beginning this summer and early fall, to fix the 146-year-old structure’s cracked pavement, leaking roof and plumbing issues. While the plan to give the castle a face-lift was approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission last month, the plan to make its path handicap-accessible has not yet been approved. According to the New York Times, preservationists are concerned about the Central Park Conservancy’s proposal to build a ramp-like elevated walkway to the castle’s entrance, saying it would alter the experience of Central Park.
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While the outside of the Belvedere Castle looks strong, the inside of the 146-year-old fortress is actually crumbling. The cracked pavement, leaking roof, and plumbing issues encouraged the Central Park Conservancy to start a 10-year $300 million campaign last summer to renovate its structures, as well as surrounding playgrounds. As DNAInfo reported, beginning at the end of this summer and early fall, the castle, the Bernard Family Playground, and the Billy Johnson Playground will be closed for reconstruction.
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If you’ve walked through Central Park on a recent weekend, you’ve likely noticed lush grass, blooming flowers, and hordes of tourists and locals alike enjoying the city’s unofficial backyard. But a closer look reveals “the debilitating effects of time and modern use,” according to the Times, which is why the Central Park Conservancy is embarking a 10-year, $300 million campaign to fund repairs and restorations in the 843-acre open space.
“Forever Green: Ensuring the Future of Central Park” will address issues such as a leaking roof at the 144-year-old Belvedere Castle, plumbing issues and cracked pavement at the Conservatory Garden, and insufficient infrastructure at the Naumburg Bandshell. It will also restore arches, bridges, gazebos, and waterways to Olmsted and Vaux’s original Adirondack- and Catskills-inspired vision.
But where will the money come from?
In 1980, the Central Park Conservancy was formed as a nonprofit organization to manage the park under a contract with the City of New York and the Parks Department. As 6sqft noted in a previous interview with the Conservancy, they’re made up of “gardeners, arborists, horticulturists, landscape architects, designers, tour guides, archeologists, a communications team, and even a historian,” all of whom help to maintain the park as the gorgeous urban oasis we know and love today.
But before this, the park faced countless political and economic stressors, and without a central body to oversee it, entered a state of disrepair and neglect. It culminated in the ’80s (as the Conservancy worked on a plan for its rehabilitation) with barren patches of land, graffiti tags, and dead plants. Since it’s hard to imagine Central Park in such a state, the Conservancy has provided these incredible before-and-after photos that show just how far the beloved space has come.
See all the photos here
In a city where hundreds of interesting happenings occur each week, it can be hard to pick and choose your way to a fulfilling life. Art Nerd‘s philosophy is a combination of observation, participation, education and of course a party to create the ultimate well-rounded week. Jump ahead for Art Nerd founder Lori Zimmer’s top picks for 6sqft readers!
Love art but can’t afford to be a collector? This week, head over to Amy Li Projects on Mott Street with five bucks and something to screen print your very own Brian Leo piece on. I’m also sure you’ve seen a handful of European artists working hard on murals around the city, now check out this foreign collective’s gallery show and party at Exit Room.
In just a few days, you can get to know the New Museum’s artist in residence Chelsea Knight as she shows off the fruits of her labor. And be sure to head to Governors Island on Friday to learn about the secret secrets of New York with urban explorer Moses Gates. For a blast from the past, end August in neon and spandex by celebrating the ’80s with a week of films at Central Park and a special Michael Jackson-themed roller disco night in Brooklyn.
All the best events to check out here
, Fri, September 12, 2014
Sara Cedar Miller and Larry Boes
Central Park’s 843 acres serve as New York City’s backyard, playground, picnic spot, gym, and the list goes on. Taking care of the urban oasis is no small task; it requires gardeners, arborists, horticulturists, landscape architects, designers, tour guides, archeologists, a communications team, and even a historian. The organization in charge of this tremendous undertaking is the Central Park Conservancy. Since its founding in 1980, the Conservancy has worked to keep the park in pristine condition, making sure it continues to be New York’s ultimate escape.
Eager to learn more about Central Park and the Conservancy’s work, we recently spoke with two of its dedicated employees: Sara Cedar Miller, Associate Vice President for Park Information/Historian and Photographer, and Larry Boes, Senior Zone Gardener in charge of the Shakespeare Garden.
Read the interview here