Washington Park, the Zoo and the Band Shell
The 124-acres known as Washington Park is bordered by Lloyd Street and Lisbon Avenue to the North, 40th Street to the East, Vliet Street to the South and US-40 to the West. Originally name as West Side Park, it was designed by the famous landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted in 1892, who also built the Lake Park in Milwaukee and the Central Park in New York. In 1882 the first zoo was established inside Washington Park. By 1920, according to a Milwaukee Journal article, the Zoo was the fifth largest in the U.S. After years of glory at this location, the Milwaukee zoo's move to its current location was completed by 1963.
The park opened its first Senior Center in 1968, followed by the rehabilitation of the boat house into a community center. The restoration of the band shell was done thanks to the efforts of Neighborhoods United for Washington Park (NUWP) and with the help of Harley-Davidson Foundation. The band shell is available for renting during Fall-Spring season. Its capacity is for 8,500 people and during summers many concerts take place in the park. In 2007 the second branch of the Urban Ecology Center opened its door here.
"History about the Washington Park Zoo, in Milwaukee, WI", Martin Drive Neighborhood Association.
Sarah Biondich, "Spiritual Uplift at Washington Park," Express Milwaukee, May 20 2009.
Band Shell Rentals, Go Milwaukee.
Interview with Willie Karidis, Urban Ecology Center and Daniel Kentowski, Milwaukee Public Library