The Brookfield Zoo


Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Brookfield Zoo.

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“By June 30, 1934, when the Brookfield Zoo officially opened, local residents had been working to build it for almost 15 years. In 1919, Edith Rockefeller McCormick gave 83 acres of land to the Forest Preserve District of Cook County for a large modern zoo, and the district responded by adding another 98 acres.

In 1920, a group of prominent Chicagoans joined to make the zoo a reality and, in 1921, incorporated the Chicago Zoological Society. The following year, building began and George Frederick Morse, Jr., was hired as the society’s first manager. Not until 1926, after county residents approved a zoo tax, did serious construction begin, only to falter in the Great Depression.” – Encyclopedia of Chicago.

This commemorative poster map of the zoo was designed by Bob Terrio and published in 1984 – fifty years after the doors first opened to the public (though the exact date is apparently in dispute and is listed as July 1st). Although the basic layout remains largely the same, significant changes had taken place in the intervening five decades and are captured within the image.

The addition of exotic animals like pandas, gorillas, and rhinos, new exhibits like Monkey Island and the train encircling the grounds, and more visitor amenities has ensured Brookfield Zoo remains relevant and interesting, with future expansion plans for the Children’s Zoo and Seven Seas Panorama also noted.

Source: Encylopedia of Chicago;

Map Details

Publication Date: 1984

Author: Bob Terrio

Sheet Width (in): 28.5

Sheet Height (in): 22.75

Condition: A-

Condition Description: Light to moderate wear along the outer edges of the sheet, including a few spots of staining, tiny tears, and faint creasing. Some wrinkling in the image from where previously rolled. Very good overall.


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