Former Cyclorama building reopens as Savanna Hall event space at Zoo Atlanta

Courtesy Jack Parada Photography 

The historic former Cyclorama building at Grant Park has been incorporated into Zoo Atlanta as an event space rechristened Savanna Hall.

“This is a milestone years in the making for Zoo Atlanta. We are still experiencing the excitement of opening the new African Savanna, and with the completion of Savanna Hall, we are now able to unite the two with an event experience unlike any other in the city,” said Raymond B. King, President and CEO. “Our hope is that Savanna Hall will attract many new guests who might not otherwise have thought of visiting the Zoo, bringing new friends and advocates for our mission of conservation.”

A panoramic view of the new African Savanna habitat from the ballroom. (Photo by Asep Mawardi)

The project architect was The Epsten Group. The contractor was Winter Johnson Group. 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. Zoo Atlanta also announced that Proof of the Pudding as its official catering partner.

Zoo Atlanta CEO Raymond B. King at the press launch of Savanna Hall on Feb. 5. (Photo by Asep Mawardi)

Built in 1921 and known 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 painting’s move 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.

Learn more at zooatlanta.org. To inquire about hosting an event at Savanna Hall, contact an events representative at specialevents@zooatlanta.org or (404) 624-5650.

Inside Savanna Hall. (Courtesy Jack Parada Photography)
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