1904 World’s Fair Flight Cage | St. Louis Zoo, St. Louis, Missouri
The Saint Louis Zoo traces its origins to the 1904 World’s Fair and in 2004 commemorated the centennial of the Fair with a dramatic new transformation of the 1904 Flight Cage.
When the 1904 flight cage was built for the world’s fair that same year, it was the largest flight cage ever constructed, and it remains one of the largest free flight cages in the world today.
The Smithsonian Institution commissioned the Flight Cage for the Louisiana Purchase Exposition and intended to move it to the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. following the Fair. But residents of St. Louis rallied to keep the Flight Cage intact, and the City of St. Louis soon purchased it for $3,500 (the structure had originally cost $17,500 to construct). Within a few short years, it served as the impetus for St. Louis to develop a full-fledged zoo, the first municipally supported zoo in the world.
Creation of the cypress swamp was the Zoo’s third renovation of the Flight Cage. In 1996, the Zoo restored the super-structure of the birdcage, and before that in 1967, the interior of the flight cage was remodeled to include a boardwalk.
In 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair: The Louisiana Purchase Exposition in Photographs, the 1904 World's Fair is brought to life through over 300 historical images.