Last week, we shared 15 great photos of the Washington Park Zoo from its first three decades, all taken by Joseph Brown, who had his photography studio just blocks from the park.
Here is another batch of visual history from this Milwaukee landmark that endured from 1892 until 1963 when the zoo completed its move to its current location and changed its name to the Milwaukee County Zoo.
You can read a bit more history of the Washington Park Zoo here. Read about the construction of the current zoo here.
This group of images – courtesy of the Milwaukee County Zoo – dates from later years, roughly 1923 onward and includes shots of the then-revoutionary bar-less bears dens that were built by Works Progress Administration crews during the Depression.
There’s also a shot of the indoor aviary. An outdoor aviary was home to eagles, including bald eagles.
There is also a nice aerial view of the zoo before the Stadium Freeway was erected over 46th Street and the western edge of the park, including the zoo’s bear dens and elephant exhibit.
This work helped push forward the plan to find a new, larger home for the zoo.
Finally, no Washington Park Zoo story would be complete without photos of two beloved favorites, namely Samson the gorilla and Sim, the lion that famously lived for a time at the Central Library.
You can read more about Sim in this Milwaukee Public Library blog post.
Bison paddock, 1929
Sim the Lion with lion keeper Bill Ehr, circa 1930
Masai giraffes, circa 1930
Bar-less bear exhibit, circa 1935
Monkey Island, 1938
Bison, winter 1940
Unidentified zoo location, circa 1940
Eagle aviary, undated
Sheep Mountain, undated
Sambo & Samson with Edith Scott, 1952
Aerial view, 1959
See 15 more vintage Washington Park Zoo photographs here.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.