Sacramento Zoo Entrance Structures Landmarked!

UPDATE 2.21.23:

The Sacramento Zoo Entrance is now a historic landmark!

We are delighted to report that the ordinance for the Sacramento Zoo Entrance structures was unanimously passed by City Council! It is now listed on the Sacramento Register for Historic and Cultural Resources. We are grateful that City Council recognizes the hyperbolic paraboloids’ historic significance.

Many thanks to everyone who submitted emails and letters of support. Hundreds of comments were sent. Your voices mattered and made a huge impact!

We encourage and support historic rehabilitation of the historic Zoo Entrance — its historic status now makes preservation funding possible for much-needed repairs and restoration.



The ordinance to landmark the Sacramento Zoo Entrance structures is scheduled to be heard and decided by City Council next Tuesday, February 21, 2023. We urge you to add your voice in support of the landmarking effort. Our friends at Preservation Sacramento have made it easy! Just click on the underlined text in the previous sentence to jump to their handy email generator so you can easily show your support. It takes only seconds!

This landmarking effort began over eleven years ago as part of a City of Sacramento-led survey. As a result of the survey findings, SacMod facilitated a more intensive and focused historic evaluation of the hyperbolic paraboloid structures, resulting in a National Register Nomination. 

SacMod stands with the Sacramento historic preservation community — the City of Sacramento’s Preservation Directors over the years; architectural historians from Mead & Hunt, Inc.; the City of Sacramento Preservation Commission, and Preservation Sacramento — as well as with City of Sacramento residents who wish to see the Zoo Entrance structures preserved.

The Sacramento Zoo entrance (1961) was designed by Kenneth Rickey and Fred Brooks. The largest building originally doubled as a concession stand to all William Land Park visitors. These iconic structures are an important, rare, and intact example of a Mid-Century Modern style known as Googie.

They are a beautiful portal to the Zoo — and also serve as a visual transition to the South Land Park neighborhood — which is known for its abundant mid-20th century architecture. The entrance to the Sacramento Zoo has been well-loved by multiple generations. It is an irreplaceable and distinct place in our cityscape and collective memory. We are delighted to see these 61 year old structures being recognized — and hope this landmarking will help ensure they will be preserved and enjoyed by future generations.

For more details regarding the effort toward landmarking effort and reasons for support, please see letters from SacMod and Preservation Sacramento.

Please enjoy our slide show of historic images of the Sacramento Zoo entrance structures!

Images in slide show via SacMod’s archive, the Center for Sacramento History, and the City of Sacramento’s Youth Parks and Community Enrichment Department