America's Historic Towns and Oldest Places
America's first zoo
The Philadelphia Zoo (est. 1859) is located in the Centennial District of Philadelphia on the west bank of the Schuylkill River at Philadelphia’s historic Fairmount Park. It is the first true, and oldest zoo in America. It was chartered by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania on March 21, 1859, but its opening was delayed by the Civil War until July 1, 1874. One of the best laid-out and most animal-packed zoos in the country, the Philadelphia Zoo is set among a charming 42-acre Victorian garden with tree-lined walks, formal shrubbery and animal sculptures. The zoo has garnered many “firsts” in addition to being the first zoo charted in the United States (1859), including the first orangutan and chimp births in a U.S. zoo (1928), the world’s first children’s zoo (1957) and the first U.S. exhibit of white lions (1993), among others. In addition to its animals, the zoo is known for its historic architecture, which includes the country home of William Penn’s grandson, its botanical collections of over 500 plant species, its groundbreaking research and its fine veterinary facilities. It is home to nearly 1,300 animals, many rare and endangered. Each year, Philadelphia Zoo educates more than 1.2 million visitors. The official address is 3400 W Girard Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19104.