Designated June 20, 2000
BAIRD (now ASTOR) COURT, NEW YORK ZOOLOGICAL PARK (Bronx Zoo), Bronx Park, south of East Fordham Road, The Bronx. Primates’ (Monkey) House, Lion House, Large Bird House (now Administration West), Elephant House (now Zoo Center), Administration Building (now Administration East), and the North and West Stairs.
Built 1899-1910; Heins & La Farge, architects; Harold A. Caparn; landscape architect.
Sculptural decoration by Eli Harvey, Charles R. Knight, and Alexander Phimister Proctor.
National Collection of Heads and Horns (now Security, Education and International Conservation Offices).
Founded 1895, opened 1899
In 1884, Fordham University sold a large parcel of its campus to the City for use as a zoo and garden, known as Bronx Park. The property had historically been part of the Lorillard estate, whose snuff mill is still extant within the New York Botanical Garden. In 1888, the City allotted 250 of its acres to the New York Zoological Society, and in 1891, another 250 to the New York Botanical Society. The largest of the city’s five zoos, The Bronx Zoo is divided into northern and southern sections. The north is characterized by its formal layout, with Astor Court in the center, surrounded by Beaux Arts buildings, some of which are designated city landmarks. The landscape in the south is more naturalistic, with buildings ranging in style from Modern to Brutalist. This entry is the Asia Gate, which leads into a forest surrounding the Bronx River, with Asian wildlife displays.
STATUS Designated Individual Landmark
“I don’t know what the City would be without HDC. [They] testified before LPC time after time and helped us focus on the right issues. We would not be an historic district without HDC! ”
Doreen Gallo: DUMBO Neighborhood Alliance
“Use HDC as a resource because they know what they are doing and can offer advice on how to go about creating a district from every front: architectural, political, LPC, and the media. I had floundered prior to my involvement with this invaluable organization.”
Fern Luskin: Lamartine Place Historic District; Friends of Lamartine Place & Gibbons Underground Railroad Site
“HDC provided guidance and shared information during that process—we knew which Council members were going one way or another and we changed a few minds. I don’t think NoHo would have had as cohesive a district had it not been for HDC’s aid.”
Zella Jones: NoHo Historic District; NoHo East; and NoHo Extension
“I remember Richard saying at a meeting, we have someone here from HDC, Nadezhda Williams, Director of Preservation and Research, to help us. She said to us, ‘You are not the only ones going through this.’ HDC included us in an enormous community”
Erika Petersen: West End Preservation Society