Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Vintage National Zoo

Designed by Boston architect William Ralph Emerson, the Buffalo House, above and below, was the first structure completed at the newly established National Zoological Park.

I believe National Zoo's Buffalo House was built in 1890. It looks very similar to Berlin Zoo's Buffalo House. In Vernon N. Kisling Jr's. superb book "Zoo and Aquarium History" 2001 CRC Press LLC, it say's "Two other house's, the Russian blockhouse for European bison and the Indian blockhouse for American bison, are still extant", but I could not find a date when they were built by Ludwig Heck who became Director in 1888. Does anyone know who built the first "log cabin" buffalo house, National or Berlin?

Although Kisling state's that the Russian blockhouse and the Indian blockhouse are extant today, it looks looks different from the third photo above. Did just the cupola's and roof line change or were the change's more extensive? The Indian bison blockhouse looks more like a "blockhouse" then the Russian blockhouse for European Bison does?

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