The New Deal years 1933 to 1941 were arguably the best years in the history of the National Zoo, thanks to the many projects undertaken by the Roosevelt Administration. Labor was provided by work-relief programs — the Civil Works Administration… read more
In 1937, Domenico Mortellito painted habitat background murals for the Bird House and the Pachyderm (Elephant) House and added murals to the zoo restaurant. These murals were commissioned by the Treasury Relief Art Project (TRAP), which aimed to put unemployed… read more
The Works Progress Administration (WPA) improved Harvard St. around the entrance to the National Zoo in 1935-36.
The Public Works Administration (PWA) funded the building for a restaurant at National Zoo, constructed in 1939-40. The restaurant building still serves the public today as the Mane Cafe. In its 1939 fiscal year report, the National Zoo noted: “The Public… read more
The Machine and Carpenter Shops building was constructed at the National Zoo in 1936-37, with a grant from the Public Works Administration (PWA). The PWA paid for four buildings and other improvements to the zoo in the 1930s. In 1938,… read more
Erwin Springweiler designed the sculptures of elephants and mammoths above the interior doors in the Elephant House at National Zoo. The actual carving was done by Lombard & Ludwig, architectural sculptors, during construction of the Elephant House in 1936-37. These… read more