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.
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