What is Grand New View?
Grand New View is Zoo Atlanta’s transformative effort to revitalize the former Cyclorama building and its adjacent surroundings. The first phase of the project, the all-new African Savanna, opened in August 2019. Coming phases are a one-of-a-kind event destination in the future Savanna Hall and a grand new entry plaza in keeping with the historic charm of our community.
Savanna Hall will be open for events in early 2020. The new grand entry plaza opens in early 2020.
What is included in the new African Savanna?
In addition to featuring a dramatically expanded African elephant habitat and a new indoor elephant care center, the African Savanna includes new habitats for giraffes, zebras, warthogs, ostriches and meerkats. Southern white rhinos, a species new to the Zoo, will join Zoo Atlanta later in 2019 and will debut in a new rhino habitat, which will be redesigned in the former elephant habitat.
An all-new interpretive experience introduces visitors to the many ways life is connected, on the savanna in Africa and here at home in Atlanta, and also includes new interpretive experiences centered on other species which are part of this iconic landscape, including African lions and kori bustards.
What’s happening now?
Interior revitalization continues inside Savanna Hall. Although the building is being revitalized, it will retain many iconic notes of its past, including its famous historic façade and its delicately restored original interior terra cotta brick walls.
Stay tuned for updates as construction progresses!
How and when did the Grand New View project start?
In June 2014, Mayor Kasim Reed approached Zoo Atlanta and asked the Zoo to incorporate the Cyclorama building into its leasehold. The Zoo was not initially prepared to incorporate this property. However, the tremendous gift of Lloyd and Mary Ann Whitaker to the Atlanta History Center – enabling the Cyclorama building’s famous “Battle of Atlanta” painting to be transferred to the History Center – had set forth an amazing sequence of events that could leave a footprint on the future for both the Atlanta History Center and Zoo Atlanta, and as such, on the cultural future of the entire City of Atlanta. Mayor Reed announced plans for the Cyclorama on July 23, 2014.
Zoo Atlanta undertook a major fundraising campaign to be able to accept the Cyclorama building and the property immediately surrounding the structure. In November 2014, the Zoo received a $20 million grant from the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation, marking the launch of the Grand New View capital campaign. The Zoo has since raised more than $42.5 million for the campaign.
The Zoo’s permitting process was initiated in 2016, beginning with review by the Urban Design Commission and concluding with the issuance of permits from the City of Atlanta. The Zoo obtained a Land Disturbance Permit in May 2017 and a Building Permit in September 2017.
How is Grand New View related to the Grant Park Gateway project?
While they are next-door neighbors, these are two different projects. The Grant Park Gateway Project is the City of Atlanta’s parking and mobility solution for the entire Grant Park community and is being managed by the City of Atlanta. The City agreed to fund and manage that project in 2014 at the time of the announcement of the plans for the Cyclorama. Grand New View, on the other hand, is Zoo Atlanta’s project and is being managed by the Zoo.