The 1934 Central Park Zoo
This page is an homage to how the Central Park Zoo looked in 1934. A lady contacted me about this album that she found at a flea market. Our director Dan Wharton bought it for the archives at the Bronx Zoo. It contains artists renderings of the zoo that was to be build in 1934 by Robert Moses. It also contains floor plans for the animals. The book also contains some photos from the Menagerie that opened in 1860 and was closed in 1934 so that the new Central Park Zoo could be built.

This is a great document for us to view.

Here is the floor plan for the Bird House.

floor plan of bird house

Drawing for the Monkey House. This is one of two original buildings that is part of the zoo today. Today it is the "Zoo School" building and is used for classes.

Drawing for Monkey House

Sea Lion in the menagerie pool.

Menagerie Pool

Drawing for the Bear Dens. In the zoo of 1934 there were three different species of bears. The Black Bear, The Brown Bear and the Polar Bear. Today only the Polar Bear is in the Central Park Zoo.

Bear Dens

Here is an overview of the map, using numbers. The sea lion pool has always been in the center.Even though it says Central Park Menagerie, it became known as the Central Park Zoo.

Sea Lion Pool

Artists rendering of the zoo, aerial view The Arsenal was the original part of the menagerie . It is now home to the offices of the Wildlife Conservation Society and the Parks Department.

The Arsenal

Drawing of the proposed Lion House.Over on the right can be seen the bridge that leads through the park and the Children's Zoo. It now houses the famous Delacorte Clock on the top, that chimes on the hour and has several animals that dance around the top.

Lion House

Diagram for the Lion House. There was room for 17 enclosures and a place for the keepers and a place to store food.

Lion House

The elephant house had views from the inside and the outside. Home to the famous Rosie the Hippo and Tina the elephant.

Elephant House

The seal lion pool was surrounded by four large cages that were used for small exhibits such as eagles, or owls- and then plants. They are no longer in the Central Park Zoo.

Sea Lion Pool

This exhibit had space for 12 smaller animals and 5 larger enclosures of Deer and Elk. It also had a space for isolation and a bird hospital.

Exhibit Space


Birds in their bird house cages. Today many birds fly freely in the rainforest exhibit. The bird house now houses the Gift Shop. It is one of two buildings from the 1934 Zoo that is used today. The other is the Primate or Monkey House.

Bird House Cages

Outdoor enclosures for the hoofed animals. Today many hoofed animals can be seen in the Children's zoo, where they can be petted and fed.

Hoofed Animals

Artist drawing for the restaurant. The Zoo in 1934 had a lovely restaurant overlooking the sea lion enclosure. Today the space is occupied by a snow monkey family enjoying their rocks and finding hidden food.

The Restaurant

Artist rendering of bear den. The bears could be seen through heavy fencing. Today the Polar Bears can be seen through clear glass.

Bear Den

The primate house had 16 spaces for various species of monkeys. Today it used "Zoo School where classes are held. It is one of the two remaining original buildings from 1934 that are part of the zoo today

Primate House

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Joan is available for book talks with slides, for both the Central Park Zoo and The New York City Zoos and Aquarium books.

Please contact her through e-mail or

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Web site created by Paul McCubbin from a design by Haran