Maryland Zoo in Baltimore

This tour was developed by Sarah Evans, Senior Writer for The Maryland Zoo, with research support from graduate students in the UMBC Department of History and Dr. Denise Meringolo.

Maryland Zoo's Perimeter Fence

Visiting any zoo in the world today, you expect to find it surrounded by a fence. It might seem difficult, then, to imagine that for nearly a century there was no fence around the Baltimore Zoo. The zoo was open to anyone who visited Druid Hill Park,…

Rogers Mansion in Druid Hill Park

The Mansion House, built by Revolutionary War Colonel Nicholas Rogers, has stood in what is now Druid Hill Park since 1801. The house is the third to stand in this location. Originally a castle known as “Auchentorolie,” built by Rogers’…

Mansion House Lawn

"Buttercups bloom and children play joyously amid the grasses and sunshine," waxed one Sun reporter poetically of the Mansion House lawn. Since the park's founding in 1860, the grassy hillside attracted thousands upon thousands of visitors for music…

The Maryland Building

When the first official World’s Fair in the United States – the Centennial Exhibition – closed in Philadelphia in November 1876, the Maryland delegation chose not to abandon their state exhibit hall. Instead, the wooden building described as…

The Children's Zoo

A giant carrot, a house made of cheese, and barnyard chickens were among the attractions that greeted visitors to the Baltimore Zoo’s new Children’s Zoo when it opened in Druid Hill Park in 1963. “Most children’s zoos are full of fairy tale…

Maryland Zoo's Animal Hospital

Disc golfers playing on Druid Hill Park’s course sometimes toss their Frisbees accidentally over the Maryland Zoo’s perimeter fence. The discs land alongside a flat, understated red-brick building whose bland exterior contrasts with a fascinating…

Maryland Zoo's Reptile House

On August 5, 1948, Mayor Thomas D’Alessandro and other Baltimore City dignitaries came by motorcade to Druid Hill Park for the official opening of the Baltimore Zoo’s new Reptile House. They pulled up in front of a small, yellow-brick building a…

The Three Sisters Ponds

At the edge of the Disc Golf Course in Druid Hill Park where the greens give way to weeds and woods, you might notice a set of stone steps that lead nowhere. Trace their path downward through the wild overgrowth and you can pick out remnants of a…