A historic treasure comes alive for an exciting new chapter as Atlanta’s newest premier event destination with the debut of Savanna Hall, now open for special events at Zoo Atlanta. Savanna Hall is the second phase of the Zoo’s landmark Grand New View, which roared to life with the opening of the all-new African Savanna in August 2019. The roughly $55 million transformations represent the most ambitious reimagining in Zoo Atlanta history.
The building, which originally had two floors, now has four, with event spaces on the third and fourth floors and administrative spaces on the first and second floors. A highlight of the Savanna Hall experience is the Michael & Thalia Carlos Ballroom, a two-level grand ballroom with sweeping views into the African Savanna. The ballroom includes two terraces over the Savanna, one covered and one open-air. Other venues include the Delta Savanna Terrace at the front of Savanna Hall, with views into Grant Park; multi-purpose meeting and conference rooms; and the Savanna Vista, an intimate venue immersed in the center of the African Savanna.
Built-in 1921 and famed for its grand scale and neoclassical architecture, Savanna Hall served for more than 90 years as the home of the Cyclorama painting The Battle of Atlanta. Following the move of The Battle of Atlanta and other artifacts to the Atlanta History Center, Zoo Atlanta engaged in meticulous efforts to preserve historic elements of the structure so that it retains many nods to its past. These include the building’s original granite façade; original, hand-laid terracotta brick walls now visible in the Michael & Thalia Carlos Ballroom; a portion of the original center column that supported the building’s roof; the rail system that was originally used to hang the massive painting; and restored terrazzo floors. Savanna Hall’s first-floor lobby features a history wall celebrating the intersecting histories of Zoo Atlanta, the Atlanta Cyclorama and Savanna Hall.
The journey to Grand New View began in 2014 when the City of Atlanta offered the stewardship of the historic building to Zoo Atlanta. A $20 million challenge grant from the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation launched the Grand New View capital campaign. Major gifts included 11 gifts of $1 million or more from a Friend of the Zoo; The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation; Delta Air Lines through the Delta Air Lines Foundation; The Gary W. Rollins Foundation; Georgia Power Foundation; The Home Depot Foundation; The Kendeda Fund; The Marcus Foundation; longtime Zoo supporters David and Cecelia Ratcliffe; The UPS Foundation; and the Zeist Foundation.
Zoo Atlanta is located at 800 Cherokee Avenue SE, Atlanta GA 30315. (WILD). Zoo Atlanta is on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube. You can follow along with the fun by using Hashtag: #OnlyZooAtl.
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