August 16, 2018
Celebrating a Rich Legacy
- as seen by -Craig Piper
Central Park is among the oldest zoos in the United States, officially opening in 1864, although a group of donated animals was onsite as early as 1860. For much of its history, the zoo was operated by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. Major renovations were completed in 1934 under the leadership of Robert Moses featuring many of the buildings found at the zoo today. By the 1970s, the zoo was in disrepair and didn’t meet current zoo standards. The New York Zoological Society (now WCS) entered an agreement to redevelop and manage Central Park Zoo in partnership with New York City. Years of hard work led to the much anticipated reopening with Mayor Ed Koch throwing out the first fish to Finn the sea lion on August 8, 1988 (above.)
All who work here today appreciate the zoo’s rich legacy and celebrate a bright future as we inspire millions of guests at all five WCS parks each year.