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 project will create an all-new African Savanna featuring new habitats for African elephants, giraffes, zebras, warthogs and more; 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.
The African Savanna opens in summer 2019. Savanna Hall will be open for events in early 2020. The new entry plaza opens in 2020.
What will be 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 will include new habitats for giraffes, zebras, warthogs, ostriches and meerkats, as well as the debut of new southern white rhinos.
An all-new interpretive experience will introduce visitors to the many ways life is connected, on the savanna in Africa and here at home in Atlanta, and will also include new interpretive experiences centered on other species which are part of this iconic landscape, including African lions and kori bustards.
What’s happening now?
Construction continues on the new indoor elephant care center, visible to the left of the future Savanna Hall. Work is also progressing on habitat elements such as water features, including a pond and waterfalls, and custom rockwork designed to replicate an African river basin. During your next visit, take a look through one of our peek-a-boo construction flaps for an idea of how the new African Savanna is taking shape.
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!
Where are the animals?
The giraffes, zebras, warthogs and ostriches are not visible during habitat construction, but continue to enjoy the same superior care they’ve always received with their care teams in their behind-the-scenes areas. Follow regular blog posts here on our Grand New View page for updates on the animals from their care teams, and look forward to their debut in all-new habitats in summer 2019.
The African elephants will remain in their current habitat until it’s time to continue further construction on their new habitat. Meerkats are currently visible in a new area near the Wieland Wildlife Home. African lions and kori bustards will continue to be visible throughout this time.
Southern white rhinos, a species new to the Zoo, will join the Zoo Atlanta family in 2019 and will debut in a new rhino habitat, which will be redesigned in the current elephant habitat.
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.