Prospect Park Zoo – Brooklyn NY


“This collection of animals was formalized as the Prospect Park Zoo on Flatbush Avenue that opened to the public on July 3, 1935. A Works Progress Administration (WPA) project, the zoo was part of a massive citywide park improvement program initiated and executed by former Parks Commissioner Robert Moses…

As with its WPA cousin in Central Park, the Prospect Park Zoo showcased limestone relief work by F.G.R. Roth, still visible today; the eleven bas-reliefs are based on Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book stories and depict Mowgli, the boy raised by wolves…

As was the case with the Central Park Zoo, time and better knowledge about the needs of animals in captivity eventually made the old Prospect Park Zoo obsolete. Through a partnership forged in the early 1980s with the City, the Wildlife Conservation Society took on the renovation and management of a new zoo in Prospect Park. The current Prospect Park Zoo opened on October 5, 1993. Ground broke for the $37 million restoration in August 1989. Some architectural elements of the old zoo were saved, such as the basic layout of the center of the zoo, but inhumane conditions that existed were eliminated.”


“After 53 years of operation as a city zoo run by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, Prospect Park Zoo closed on June 1988 for reconstruction. The closure signaled the start of a five year, $37 million dollar renovation program, that, save for the exteriors of the 1930s-era buildings, completely replaced the zoo.”


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Location Info

450 Flatbush Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11225

Coordinates: 40.6655761, -73.96489079999998

2 comments on “Prospect Park Zoo – Brooklyn NY

  1. While it’s nice to have such big public domain photos of the sculptures, wouldn’t it have been better to attempt square-on shots in the case of bas-reliefs rather than go for dramatic angles?

    Also there are a couple missing, which are at the backs of the buldings and very hard to get photos of, but I managed to get this (geometrically-adjusted):[email protected]/8021626858/

    • Gabriel Milner

      Thank you for passing along your photo. We will add it to the page. W

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