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Lincoln Park Zoo announces renovation plans and design for the Kovler Lion House

Construction will begin in fall 2019.

May 10, 2019 |

Renderings courtesy Lincoln Park Zoo

Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo has announced plans and unveiled the design for the renovation of the Kovler Lion House. The building originally opened in 1912 and is listed as a historic landmark.

The design of the $35 million renovation was created using data collected over the past few years related to the lions’ behavior, habitat use, and preferences. The renovation will include a savannah-style habitat for a pride of lions and any potential future offspring that will span the full northern side of the facility. The habitat will include intricate rockwork to increase vertical complexity, environmental options, and act as embedded heating and cooling elements; tree structures and a deadfall made from Forest Stewardship Council-certified trees; and a food zipline that simulates prey.


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The Lion House will feature new opportunities for human guests as well. The design places visitors directly in the center of the habitat and large expanses of glass on the inside and outside of the building will allow guests to view the lions from up close.

Goettsch Partners is the architect for the project and PJA is the exhibit designer.

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