Historic Archival Drawings

City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks


The City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks was created by charter in 1889 and was originally called the Department of Parks. For the better part of the first one hundred years, plans and drawings for park ideas, designs and development were drawn by hand by the many talented landscape architects, architects, and engineers employed by the Department. In this day and age of mass produced CAD drawings, these historic drawings stand out as unique expressions of a personalized vision.

The documents shown on these web pages are from the Department of Recreation and Parks’ historic archives.

Our inaugural gallery features the design drawings created as part of the WPA (Works Progress Administration, 1935-1943) program for the construction of the “Old Zoo.” The Old Zoo was a major attraction in Griffith Park from 1912 to August of 1966 drawing as many as two million visitors annually, until its closure when the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens opened at its current location on November 28, 1966.

Please return to this site from time to time to enjoy additional historic drawings as our gallery grows.