Amur and Snow Leopards headed to New York City. Landmarks issued permits to allow the Wildlife Conservation Society, which operates the Central Park and Prospect Park Zoos, to add new exhibits. Within the Central Park Zoo, a Snow Leopard habitat will replace an existing River Otter habitat in the zoo’s western section. The plan calls for construction of a 2,300-square-foot, wood-clad holding center adjacent to an open-air leopard enclosure and viewing pavilions also clad in a dark colored wood.
The Society modeled the Amur Leopard habitat at the Prospect Park Zoo on the Central Park Snow Leopard habitat, proposing a similar wood-clad holding building, viewing pavilions and an open-air animal enclosure. The Amur Leopard habitat will replace an existing crane aviary. The design features Volume 4 Cityland July 15, 2007 screening with grade changes and vegetation in order to blend into the surrounding landscaping.Landmarks emphasized that the proposed alterations would not eliminate any original features and would not encroach on Central or Prospect Parks. Only a small portion of each building would be visible from public areas within the zoo.
LPC: Central Park, Central Park Zoo (CRA 07-8282) (May 10, 2007); LPC: Prospect Park, Prospect Park Zoo (CRA 07-8283) (May 10, 2007). CITYADMIN
CITYLAND Comment: The Wildlife Conservation Society presented the two proposals at the Art Commission’s Public Hearing on June 11, 2007, along with a third proposal for the Queens Zoo. Its presentation focused on screening mechanisms and the buildings’ architectural features, which mirrored other zoo structures. Hunter Armstrong of Landmarks West! expressed concerns that the holding dens would remain visible, and asked for more effective screening. The Art Commission, however, accepted the projects on a preliminary basis subject to final review of the holding dens.