Tower in Central Park, New York, NY
From the park web
In 1867, Central Park designer and architect Calvert Vaux (1824-1895)
created an observation tower atop Vista Rock to overlook the old reservoir
that is now the Great Lawn. The Gothic-style Castle was designed as a
landmark for the pedestrian park visitor. The castleís United States flag
could be seen from the Mall, drawing the walkers down to Bethesda Terrace,
over Bow Bridge, and through the Ramble to the castle itself.
Belvedere Castle was once an open-air structure, with no doors or windows.
This changed in 1919 when the United States Weather Bureau moved the Central
Park Observatory to the castle. Until that time, weather measurements were
taken from the Arsenal at Fifth Avenue and 64th Street where Dr. Daniel
Draper founded a meteorological observatory in 1869. The Weather Bureau took
over the operation in 1911, and moved it here eight years later, enclosing
the castle and altering the turretís shape to accommodate their scientific
In the early 1960s, the Weather Bureau replaced the lab with automated
instruments and closed the castle offices. The empty building was left to
deteriorate until 1983, when the Central Park Conservancy replaced the
original turret, rebuilt the pavilions, and converted the castle into a
visitorís center. The Henry Luce Nature Observatory in the castle, created
in 1996, provides interactive nature exhibits inside the castle as well as
bird-watching kits, which can be used throughout the park.