Growing the Zoo

The Memphis Zoo's Master Plan

Building a world-class Zoo doesn't just happen overnight. The Zoo has used a master plan to guide the way since it began making major renovations in the late 1980s.

Location Overview

Created in April 1906, the Memphis Zoo has been an iconic tenant of Overton Park for more than 100 years. The city-owned land, currently designated to the Zoo, was defined by the Overton Park master plan in 1988. The Zoo is set on 76 acres, of which approximately 55 acres are developed.

Developing A Plan

The Zoo's first master plan was developed in the early 1980s by Torre Design Consortium, Ltd. (TDC), an architectural design firm that specializes in zoological planning. It has took years of research to refine the master plan that the Zoo adopted in 1986. Since that date, the Zoo has worked with TDC to revise the plan, according to the Zoo's animal needs and strategic goals. On average, the Zoo revises its master plan about every 10 years. The Zoo's latest master plan was created in 2001.

In the last 20 years, the Zoo has completed more than $80 million in renovations and new construction - none of which would be possible without the financial assistance and civic support of local private citizens, corporate sponsors and legislators.

New Master Plan Progress

The Zoo is nearing the end of its current master plan and will soon work to create a new 10-year master plan. Check back soon to learn more details on how the process begins.

Master Plan Resources

The 2001 Zoo Master Plan

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    The 2001 Zoo Master Plan with project locations highlighted.

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