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Aporkalypse

Little Rock Zoo

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I found some drawings online. It looks like a remodel of one of the current buildings (primate house or reptile house?). Could it be a new building incorporating the same original stone as the WPA projects? I know they are currently working on the African Veldt and a new entrance is completed or near so. They're somewhere in the fundraising stage for a Penguin House. This seems to be a restaurant, or at least part of it is...

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Very interesting. I'll have to do some digging myself. Thanks for the update and cool sketches. :thumbsup:

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Let's hope that turns out better than the "new" entrance, which to me is an embarrassment. The whole zoo "had" this cool, 1930's stone CCC vernacular going, and we end up with some hokey, vinyl-sided, plastic-windowed, farm-house entry thingy. It has a "kelley" green roof (which went out of style, what, 15 years ago? Or..was it ever in style?). No joking aside, that should never have been built as a city public works project with such poor building materials. That building has a 15-20 year lifespan, which is throw-away construction.

I'll give the architects the benefit of the doubt and chalk it up to a poor budget, but someone at the zoo or city should have set higher standards than that. Want an example of a exceptional city project? Look no further than across the street at the War Memorial Fitness Center and Pool. That should have been the standard.

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Let's hope that turns out better than the "new" entrance, which to me is an embarrassment. The whole zoo "had" this cool, 1930's stone CCC vernacular going, and we end up with some hokey, vinyl-sided, plastic-windowed, farm-house entry thingy. It has a "kelley" green roof (which went out of style, what, 15 years ago? Or..was it ever in style?). No joking aside, that should never have been built as a city public works project with such poor building materials. That building has a 15-20 year lifespan, which is throw-away construction.

I'll give the architects the benefit of the doubt and chalk it up to a poor budget, but someone at the zoo or city should have set higher standards than that. Want an example of a exceptional city project? Look no further than across the street at the War Memorial Fitness Center and Pool. That should have been the standard.

I agree, the new entrance is simply awful. I have no idea what they were thinking. The original concrete entrance was weird and outdated but I preferred it. I just hope it will be destroyed when the zoo is expanded.

As much of the zoo as possible should imitate the original WPA stone. Like you said, the pool and fitness center do and so does the stone trim and entrance to War Memorial Park. I'd love to see improvements to the stadium in that stone but that's expensive and it's probably a little late for that.

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This may be a rendering of the place where they displayed the Big Cats. They were suppose to convert it into a cafe.

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Some other interesting zoo news. I've heard that a Gorilla is pregnant at the zoo, and if born at the zoo, would be the first born in Arkansas.

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That big gift to the Little Rock Zoo we mentioned yesterday is $775,000 from the Laura P. Nichols Foundation, details on the jump.

ZOO NEWS RELEASE

The Arkansas Zoological Foundation announced today that the Little Rock Zoo has received the largest gift in its 80-year history.

A gift in the amount of $775,000 was made by the Laura P. Nichols Foundation to the Arkansas Zoological Foundation for naming rights to two exhibits and a special earmark for education programming. The first $300,000 of the gift will give naming rights for a new African Penguin habitat at the Zoo. Another $300,000 will give naming rights to a new cheetah exhibit. The final $150,000 has been earmarked for conservation education outreach programs.

The Laura P. Nichols Foundation had already given $25,000 to name a penguin at the new African Penguin exhibit prior to making the larger gift of $750,000.

Zoo director, Mike Blakely, said the gift is the largest gift the Little Rock Zoo has ever received and sets a new standard of giving for the Zoo. "The Nichols Family has set a new path for the Zoo with this incredible contribution. This gift shows that the Little Rock Zoo is deserving of large donations and we are grateful to the Laura P. Nichols Foundation for this wonderful contribution," said Blakely.

At an 11:30 am press conference at Caf

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The gift to the Zoo will become a milestone in the history of the LR Zoo. My only hope is that Zoo staff will prove to be good custodians of this gift. I also hope this success can be built on...in the near term.

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Seems like they could save some of that money if they would place the cheetahs and penguins into the same exhibit. :) That really is cool though. I'll be among the first in line to see these new exhibits.

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I hope this philanthropy will catch on. It ten donors would do something similar the zoo could really be something special.

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Are they ever going to finish that African Veldt project? The zoo has been working on that for years now.

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Are they ever going to finish that African Veldt project? The zoo has been working on that for years now.

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Are they ever going to finish that African Veldt project? The zoo has been working on that for years now.

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I took my kid on Friday. It looks like they are almost finished and it should be pretty nice. There's a nice meandering boardwalk with lots of viewing stations. There was a decent amount of construction on the zoo when we went there.

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I took my kid on Friday. It looks like they are almost finished and it should be pretty nice. There's a nice meandering boardwalk with lots of viewing stations. There was a decent amount of construction on the zoo when we went there.

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Plumbing report indicates a Cheetah exhibit. Hadn't heard anything about that before.

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Additionally, they were reporting on KARN this morning about a coming battle over the future of Ray Winder Field. Apparently, several of the city board members (Stacy Hurst, etc.) support buying the property for the zoo for expansion (which I wholeheartedly support), while the city wants to retain the ballpark...for some reason.

Here's the thing...the zoo is the number one tourist destination in the city...more than the Clinton Library. It needs help. Serious help, and it could be a great asset. I'm all for preserving Arkansas Heritage, but there is no jewel in the rough in Ray Winder. There is history there, just no architectural history. I see no value whatsoever in retaining or investing money in it when this valuable land could radically alter the zoo for the better.

It's funny...LR saw no reason to invest any money in the ballpark (or push for a new one) when the Travelers were there, and NOW they want to do something. It's mind-boggling.

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Additionally, they were reporting on KARN this morning about a coming battle over the future of Ray Winder Field. Apparently, several of the city board members (Stacy Hurst, etc.) support buying the property for the zoo for expansion (which I wholeheartedly support), while the city wants to retain the ballpark...for some reason.

Here's the thing...the zoo is the number one tourist destination in the city...more than the Clinton Library. It needs help. Serious help, and it could be a great asset. I'm all for preserving Arkansas Heritage, but there is no jewel in the rough in Ray Winder. There is history there, just no architectural history. I see no value whatsoever in retaining or investing money in it when this valuable land could radically alter the zoo for the better.

It's funny...LR saw no reason to invest any money in the ballpark (or push for a new one) when the Travelers were there, and NOW they want to do something. It's mind-boggling.

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Good post, I agree with you on Ray Winder. With Lamar Porter, Curran Conway and the Coleman field at LRCHS do we need to maintain another.

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Additionally, they were reporting on KARN this morning about a coming battle over the future of Ray Winder Field. Apparently, several of the city board members (Stacy Hurst, etc.) support buying the property for the zoo for expansion (which I wholeheartedly support), while the city wants to retain the ballpark...for some reason.

Here's the thing...the zoo is the number one tourist destination in the city...more than the Clinton Library. It needs help. Serious help, and it could be a great asset. I'm all for preserving Arkansas Heritage, but there is no jewel in the rough in Ray Winder. There is history there, just no architectural history. I see no value whatsoever in retaining or investing money in it when this valuable land could radically alter the zoo for the better.

It's funny...LR saw no reason to invest any money in the ballpark (or push for a new one) when the Travelers were there, and NOW they want to do something. It's mind-boggling.

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Yesterday the Zoo held a free day. It was a nice warm day for early March and the attendance was a reported 27,000 visitors. That broke all one day records by a wide margin.

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Yesterday the Zoo held a free day. It was a nice warm day for early March and the attendance was a reported 27,000 visitors. That broke all one day records by a wide margin.

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There was a photo in the paper, and it caught my eye by the sheer size of the crowds...pretty impressive.

I still remember when the zoo was free of charge when I was younger (and I'm only 40). I can say "only" with "40" right? ;-)

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There was a photo in the paper, and it caught my eye by the sheer size of the crowds...pretty impressive.

I still remember when the zoo was free of charge when I was younger (and I'm only 40). I can say "only" with "40" right? ;-)

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