Building the New Milwaukee County Zoo ~ 1947-1960

Image of Monkey Island at Washington Park Zoo


Construction continued with the building of Dall Sheep Mountain and the Alaskan Bear exhibit.  As the Primate Building was approaching completion, its first resident, Unk the Siamang, moved in.  It was built for beauty as well as efficiency.  The structure, designed by Grassold-Johnson & Associates, featured a central landscaped courtyard.  Later in 1959, zookeepers at the Washington Park Zoo carried Rhesus monkeys in carriers after they were rounded up on Monkey Island for the last time.  The monkeys had previously been round up at the end of each warm season, an annual battle of monkey vs. men that had occurred for 40 years. The monkeys moved into their new year-round quarters at the new Zoo. 

Image courtesy of Milwaukee Sentinel