Narrating the correlation of elephants as related to their import, groupings, breeding and transfers,
along with other elephant related topics.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Postcard Press - St Louis Zoo II

The following postcard is postmarked 1923, depicting the former elephant house of the St. Louis Zoo.

Photo 1, St Louis Zoo, 1920s
Courtesy of EBay

Wade Burck shares pictures of the building in its current state, renovated and now named 'Peabody Hall.' It was originally built in 1917, the year following the arrival of the zoo's first elephant, Miss Jim.

Photo 2, St Louis Zoo
Courtesy of W Burck

Photo 3, St Louis Zoo
Courtesy of W Burck

Photo 4, St Louis Zoo
Courtesy of W Burck

This facility only housed Miss Jim, the St. Louis Zoo's ride elephant, while the show elephants were housed in a different location as described by former St. Louis Zoo animal trainer Jim Alexander. Miss Jim died in October 1948, shortly less than a decade after a new Pachyderm facility was constructed to house all the institution's elephants, hippos, rhinos and tapirs, including a new stage for the zoo's elephant show under the direction of Floyd Smith and later Donn Gibson.

Perhaps Mr. Alexander can share with us more information, such as the cause of death for Miss Jim, if any other elephants were housed in the current Peabody Hall and when the renovation was made of the former elephant facility.


  1. The side pictured is now connected to the Bird House but the elephant head can also be seen on the other side. Thanks to Charlie Hoessle for having it restored. The building itself is now called Peabody Hall (because Peabody Coal gave a lot of money) and was(is?) the site of the Zoo centennial exhibit.

  2. Thank you for the information, Jim.

    I did some further research and found the following information at the AZA's website, dated April 2010:

    "A historic landmark at the Saint Louis Zoo has been totally renovated indoors and out, thanks to a $2.5 million gift from St. Louis-based Peabody Energy, the world’s largest private-sector coal company.

    Peabody Hall, adjacent to the Zoo’s Bird House, dates back to 1917 as the Zoo’s first Elephant House. It once housed two hippos, an elephant and a rhinoceros. The building had become obsolete for animal management by the 1950s. Today the structure has been transformed into a spacious exhibit gallery designed to house traveling attractions, interactive exhibits, live animal exhibits and wildlife art displays for the general public. The site will also serve as a venue for private events."



I eagerly anticipate associating with new individuals with an interest or history in elephants, elephant history and elephant record keeping. If you have further information regarding the animals or locations questioned in the article, please leave a comment or message me in an effort to complete their records for elephant historians.