Astor Court

Julie Larsen Maher ©WCS

The Historic Astor Court, located adjacent to our Beaux-Arts Zoo Center, reflects a one-of-a-kind old-world grace. Five of the buildings on Astor Court -- the Primates’ (Monkey) House, Lion House, Large Bird House (now Administration West), Elephant House (now Zoo Center), Administration Building (now Administration East) -- were constructed between 1899 and 1910 to designs by Heins & La Farge, of which four are richly embellished with large, realistically modeled, stone and terracotta sculptures of animals by Eli Harvey, Charles R. Knight and Alexander Phimster Proctor. These works of art were commissioned to illustrate the animals housed in each building. The sixth building, the National Collection of Heads and Horns (now Security, Education, and International Conservation Offices), was constructed in 1922 to designs by the architect Henry D. Whitfield.