Central Park will begin a major renovation effort towards the end of summer this year and early in the fall, DNAinfo has learned. This particular effort will focus on carrying out repairs and restoration work on the Belvedere Castle, the Bernard Family Playground, and the Billy Johnson Playground.
The organization managing the park, the Central Park Conservancy, had indicated as much last summer, when it announced that it was officially commencing a $300 million fundraising effort to carry out longterm restoration projects throughout the park. At the time of that announcement, the Conservancy had already raised $112 million of that goal.
The first three projects among the overall planned renovations are still undergoing public review, but DNAinfo has learned about some of the work planned at these specific sites.
The Belvedere Castle will be made ADA accessible, the castle’s wood pavilions will be restored, its masonry will be cleaned and reset, and the windows, main entrance, and upper terrace doors will be replaced by clear-pane glass to mirror the castle’s original design when it was built in 1842 (among other changes).
Some of the changes at the Bernard Family Playground include new swings, benches, and plantings. At the Billy Johnson playground, changes include a new water feature with spray jets, and the addition of rustic arbors, pergolas, and benches. The castle and the playgrounds will likely close for the duration of the renovation, but accessibility will be determined during the current public review process.
In addition to this project, the Conservancy also launched a smaller renovation effort on the west side of the park last winter with plans for improving irrigation between West 86th and 96th Streets.