Central Park New Deal Sites - Photo #24 - Central Park Zoo


The Central Park Zoo. In 1934, the original Central Park Menagerie, which was just wooden sheds and some cages, was torn down and replaced by nine brick and concrete buildings and with landscaping and seal pool, designed by CWA-paid Parks Department architects [6] [7] [10,p.352] [13], the materials paid for by the CWA [2,pp.383-385], and the labor also[3]. The Zoo was renovated in the 1980s; this page shows the the original parts that still remain, including two buildings and the Dancing Goat and Dancing Bear statues by Frederick Roth[8], plus numerous friezes.

Central Park Zoo 1934
Central Park Zoo Opening Day, December 2, 1934. Photo: [1,p.450].
The Gift Shop, pictured above, is one of the few 1934 buildings that survives after the entire zoo was rebuilt in 1988. This was the design of all the buildings: brick topped by a limestone frieze showing what to find inside the building (in this case birds — click the Enlarge button to see), with a slate roof and an ornate chimney.


  1. Rosenzweig, Roy, and Elizabeth Blackmar, The Park and the People: A History of Central Park, Cornell University Press (1992) [website].
  2. Caro, Robert A., The Power Broker -