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Know Your City No. 155 – Selig Zoo entrance

Know Your City No. 155 – Selig Zoo entrance

November 1955: Photo of Selig Zoo entrance taken for the Know Your City photography series. This image appeared in the Dec. 2, 1955 Los Angeles Times. The original caption reported:

KNOW YOUR CITY, NO. 15– This may be a toughie. Because these are pretty lionesses. They’ve been here since 1910. And never bitten anyone. Rather remotely, the last letter of the alphabet is involved. Answer on Page 32, Part ll.

ANSWER: The photo is of one of the ornate arches that formed the entrances to the old Selig Zoo, adjacent to Lincoln Park. Here, many early-day movies were made. Then, it was a regular zoo. And, at present, an inactive amusement park. But, nevertheless, down through the years and despite fallen plaster, it remains one of the most impressive entrances in town.

Movie pioneer William Selig opened his zoo in 1915. The caption from 1955 listed above gives a date of 1910, but I believe that is incorrect. By the mid-1920s, the amusement park failed and closed.

For more, check out this 2009 story by Carla Hall: Zoo to display lion statues from early L.A. menagerie.

Chamberlin, Bob ññ ñ LOS ANGELES, CA ñ MAY 13, 2009: Connie Morgan, head of the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association, walks past a mother lion with cubs,one of four lion statues from the Selig Zoo, lost during the 1950's which have been found and restored and are now making their comeback at the entry walkway to the Los Angeles Zoo on Wednesday May 13, 2009. These zoo animals were made of stone and date back to the earliest precursor of today's zoo, the Selig Zoo, a 1915 creation of a movie producer who started a zoo combined with movie studio, and had statues of lions and elephants carved. The statues were lost as that old zoo closed. (Bob Chamberlin/Los Angeles Times)

May 13, 2009: Connie Morgan, head of the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Assn., walks past a mother lion with cubs,one of four lion statues from the Selig Zoo that were lost during the 1950s but found, restored and making their comeback at the entry walkway to the Los Angeles Zoo. Credit: Bob Chamberlin/Los Angeles Times.

scott.harrison@latimes.com

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