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Central Park Conservancy Restoration of the Belvedere

WHEREAS, The Belvedere is located to the north of the 79th Street transverse road; and

WHEREAS, The Belvedere was created in 1866 for the purpose of park circulation, scenic improvement and the erection of a picturesque structure that would command views of the lower and upper Park; and

WHEREAS, The Belvedere was originally conceived as an open air folly without windows and doors and to be used solely as a castle-like lookout tower; and

WHEREAS, The views and the context of the Belvedere has dramatically changed from its original construction once the Reservoir was filled and the Great Lawn created in the 1930s; and

WHEREAS, Significant restoration occurred in 1983, 1996 and 1999 which included reopening the Belvedere as a visitor center, restoration work, outfitting of the interior and construction of an accessible ramp on the south side of the esplanade; and creation of windows and interiors; and

WHEREAS, There is poor drainage and other issues that have created damage and wear including deterioration of parapet walls, of the wooden pavilions and the pavements along with staining of exterior masonry; and

WHEREAS, The scope of the current work seeks to restore the historic structure while modernizing mechanical systems and increasing accessibility; and

WHEREAS, The specific work includes restoration of walls and terraces, pavilions, pavements, interior features and windows along with the re-creation of coping and a wooden tower; and the fusion and re-grading of lover's lane with the historic access plan and;

WHEREAS, The Central Park Conservatory seeks to evoke the historically straight path to the Belvedere originally contemplated by the Belvedere's initial plans; and

WHEREAS, Community Board Five has found the Central Park Conservancy to use best efforts to preserve the original intent and character of the Park while enhancing accessibility, safety and attractiveness in its work; therefore be it

RESOLVED, Community Board recommends approval of the Central Park Conservancy's application for restoration of the Belvedere.

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