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Construction progress on Grand New View

See the building of the all-new African Savanna and the revitalization of Savanna Hall taking shape.

Newly-released drone footage shows six months of construction progress on Grand New View, the historic transformation at Zoo Atlanta.

On the heels of a capital campaign that raised more than $42.5 million, Zoo Atlanta broke ground on Grand New View in fall 2017. The project includes construction of the Zoo’s new African Savanna; revitalization of the former Cyclorama building, now named Savanna Hall; and construction of a new grand entry plaza.

“2018 has been a year of tremendous progress for Zoo Atlanta. As with any construction project, the process becomes the most exciting when visions begin to visibly take shape,” said Raymond B. King, President and CEO. “Once they’re able to see and appreciate the size and scope of the new African Savanna, we think Atlanta will agree that we are building a new Zoo, while at the same time building the capabilities of our mission to protect wildlife and wild places.”

African Savanna
Anticipated to open in summer 2019, the African Savanna will feature significantly expanded habitats for African elephants and new habitats for giraffes, zebras, ostriches, warthogs and more. The elephant habitat, which will have the capacity to house up to seven individuals, will include among its features a large pool, two waterfalls and an indoor elephant care center. The new giraffe habitat will provide the Zoo’s herd with an increase in usable space, and as the visitor walkway will not be raised, guests will have an opportunity for a new appreciation of the true height of Earth’s tallest land mammals. The Zoo will also welcome a new species with the transformation of the present-day elephant habitat, which will be re-made as a habitat for southern white rhinos.

In an exciting complement to the Zoo’s new commitment to leadership in elephant care and conservation, in July 2018, Zoo Atlanta announced a partnership with Conservation South Luangwa, a nonprofit organization based in Zambia, to protect African elephants and other species impacted by wildlife trafficking and human wildlife conflict. To learn more about the work of Conservation South Luangwa and other projects and partnerships supported by Zoo Atlanta, visit here.

Savanna Hall
Grand New View will create a new chapter for a treasured structure. Built in 1921, the building is known for its neoclassical architecture and famous façade, which will remain intact. Inside, Savanna Hall will retain many notes of its historic past, including delicately restored original terra cotta brick walls. The special events destination, which is expected to open by spring 2020, will offer more than 25,000 square feet of event spaces.

A high point of Savanna Hall will be the Michael &Thalia Carlos Ballroom, a two-level space with floor-to-ceiling glass windows overlooking the African Savanna. The ballroom will also feature two terraces, one covered and one open-air, for an immersive experience as guests observe the wildlife of the Savanna. On the front side of Savanna Hall, the Delta Savanna Terrace will offer a panoramic view of Grant Park and the Zoo’s new grand entry plaza, the third and final component of Grand New View. The venue will also feature two conference rooms, both of which can also serve as multi-purpose gathering spaces, and an event room with a window overlook of the ballroom from the ballroom’s second floor. Chef-crafted event menus from Zoo Atlanta’s catering partner, Proof of the Pudding, will be executed from two kitchens: a main banquet kitchen and a specialty kitchen equipped for kosher catering and kosher style.

For more on Grand New View, visit here.


Rachel Davis
Director of Communications
404.624.2812 – office
404.309.2238 – cell

Gavin Johnson
Public Relations and Communications Specialist
404.624.5980 – office

About Zoo Atlanta
Viewed as one of the finest zoological institutions in the U.S. and a proud accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), Zoo Atlanta has a mission to inspire value and preservation of wildlife through a unique mix of education and outdoor family experiences. From well-known native wildlife to critically endangered species on the brink of extinction, the Zoo offers memorable close encounters with more than 1,000 animals from around the world. Zoo highlights include giant pandas, including Ya Lun and Xi Lun, a set of twins born to Lun Lun on September 3, 2016; one of North America’s largest zoological populations of great apes; and a global center of excellence for the care and study of reptiles and amphibians. Scaly Slimy Spectacular: The Amphibian and Reptile Experience, featuring more than 70 species in a 111,000 square-foot complex, is the world’s first LEED Gold-certified reptile and amphibian exhibit. The Zoo’s newest experience, Treetop Trail presented by Kaiser Permanente, opened in March 2017. Up-close-and-personal animal experiences include behind-the-scenes Wild Encounters with African elephants, African lions, Aldabra giant tortoises and giant pandas. Zoo Atlanta is open year-round with the exceptions of Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Keeper talks, interactive wildlife presentations, education programs and special events run year-round. For more information, visit

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