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Woodland Park Zoo

5500 Phinney Avenue N
Seattle, King County, Washington, 98103

Gorilla at Woodland Park Zoo
Photo: License: CC0 1.0
Woodland Park Zoo is a wildlife conservation organization and zoological garden located in the Phinney Ridge neighborhood of Seattle, Washington.
The zoo began as a small menagerie on the estate of Guy C. Phinney, a Canadian-born lumber mill owner and real estate developer. Six years after Phinney's death Phinney's wife sold the 188-acre Woodland Park to the city for $5,000 in cash and the assumption of a $95,000 mortgage. The sum was so large that then-mayor W. D. Wood vetoed the acquisition, only to be later overruled by the city council.

In 1902, the Olmsted Brothers firm of Boston was hired to design the city's parks, including Woodland Park, and the next year the collection of the private Leschi Park menagerie was moved to Phinney Ridge.

Woodland Park Zoo created what is generally considered the world's first immersion exhibit, a gorilla habitat, which opened in the late 1970s under the direction of zoo architect David Hancocks. The idea eventually became the standard for naturalistic exhibits, inspiring many imitators and replicas worldwide.

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