Woodland Park Zoo visitors, as well as those attending concerts on the north meadow this summer, will pass through the new West Entrance opening May 1. The modernistic entrance is expected to cut wait times to five minutes or less.
Located along Phinney Avenue North between North 55th and 56th Streets, the 58,000-square-foot entrance complex replaces the current North and West entrances. A landscaped path will lead visitors to the new Bank of America Commons, where groups can gather before entering the zoo grounds.
Sustainably designed, the entrance and commons includes state-of-the-art “soundscaping” (featuring audio samples from zoo animals), ticketing booths, restrooms, member and visitors services, a Caffe Vita coffee cart (serving shade-grown coffee) and a second ZooStore location.
As part of the zoo’s commitment to green practices, the West Entrance is “targeting” Silver certification through the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED system. Among the highlights: 80 new trees, covered bicycle parking, a rainwater infiltration system and other features.
More than half the zoo’s 1 million annual visitors will pass through the new entrance.
The $7.5 million project, phase two of the $14 million penguin/West Entrance project, was designed by the Seattle architectural firm Weinstein A/U and landscape architects SiteWorkshop. It was constructed by Unimark Construction Group.
The entrance was funded entirely through private sources, and made possible in part by a $1 million grant by the Bank of America Charitable Foundation.
Opening festivities May 1 will include live music and giveaways.
Details about the summer concert series will be announced soon. The lineup will include Steve Earle and John Hiatt, according to Pollstar.
For more information, visit the Woodland Park Zoo Web site.