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New $9 million visitor center headed to Lincoln Park Zoo

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The redesigned East Gate project is ready to break ground

Rendering courtesy of Ross Barney Architects

With Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo winding down the holiday season as its popular Zoo Lights exhibit comes to a close the end of this week, the North Side attraction is ready to begin work on a major renovation to its eastern gate. Yesterday, a construction permit was issued for a pair of new structures penned by Chicago-based Ross Barney Architects.

The new visitor center complex at 2200 N. Cannon Drive features a shade-providing archway, guest and member services, stroller rentals, interactive displays, and new bathroom facilities. The project will replace the zoo’s old, silo-like pavilion constructed in 1994.

The $9 million East Gate upgrade is part of larger $125 million capital campaign launched by zoo leadership a few years ago. Other aspects of the plan include a new penguin house, polar bear enclosure, Japanese macaque habitat, and a learning center.

The new visitor center is expected to open later this summer.

The new construction will replace the zoo’s existing 1994 welcome pavilion.

Lincoln Park Zoo

2001 North Clark Street, , IL 60614 Visit Website