Peabody Energy announces $2.5 millin renovation of historic landmark at Saint Louis Zoo

« Back to Zoo & Aquarium News


Peabody Energy announces $2.5 millin renovation of historic landmark at Saint Louis Zoo

Apr 22, 2010


April 20, 2010 Saint Louis Zoo 314/781-0900

Janet Powell, ext. 4633

Christy Childs, ext. 4639

Meg Gallagher, Peabody Energy, 314/342-7963


Peabody Hall provides unique opportunity for exciting educational exhibits

ST. LOUIS – A historic landmark at the Saint Louis Zoo has been totally renovated indoors and out, thanks to a $2.5 million gift from St. Louis-based Peabody Energy, the world’s largest private-sector coal company.

Peabody Hall, adjacent to the Zoo’s Bird House, dates back to 1917 as the Zoo’s first Elephant House. It once housed two hippos, an elephant and a rhinoceros. The building had become obsolete for animal management by the 1950s. Today the structure has been transformed into a spacious exhibit gallery designed to house traveling attractions, interactive exhibits, live animal exhibits and wildlife art displays for the general public. The site will also serve as a venue for private events.

“For more than half a century, Peabody has been proud to call St. Louis home in part because of world-class institutions like the Saint Louis Zoo,” said Peabody Energy Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Gregory H. Boyce. “Peabody Energy is committed to first-class energy production and first-class environmental protection. We are also committed to improving the quality of life in the communities we serve.

“Through our partnership with the Zoo, we have been able to transform an abandoned building into an educational resource for our entire community to enjoy and showcase the beauty and variety of our natural world.”

With the refurbishment of this historic building made possible by Peabody, the interior space was expanded by more than two-thirds to span 5,000 square feet. The exterior of the building has been restored to its original beauty and is now ADA accessible. Alberici Constructors, Inc. was the contractor for the renovation.

“The development of Peabody Hall will allow the Saint Louis Zoo to educate and entertain visitors in ways that we were never able to do before,” said Dr. Jeffrey P. Bonner, Dana Brown President and CEO. “For the first time, the new exhibit hall will provide the Zoo with a venue to feature exciting and engaging temporary exhibits for the public. With traveling exhibits, we hope to show the diversity of the world’s wildlife and the importance of their ecosystems.”

The first exhibit to open in Peabody Hall will be Zootennial, the Saint Louis Zoo’s walk-through exhibit which celebrates the Zoo’s rich 100-year history. Zootennial opens to the public on May 15, 2010. With archived video, old photos, fun interactive elements and artifacts, the stunning Zootennial exhibit will reveal how the Zoo has changed in the past 100 years and how it remains the same. The Zootennial exhibit is free.


Peabody Energy (NYSE: BTU) is the world’s largest private-sector coal company and a global leader in clean coal solutions. With 2009 sales of 244 million tons and $6 billion in revenues, Peabody fuels 10 percent of U.S. power and 2 percent of worldwide electricity, lighting cities on six continents. Peabody is energizing the world, one Btu at a time.

The Saint Louis Zoo is widely recognized for its innovative approaches to animal management, wildlife conservation, research and education. One of the few free zoos in the nation, it attracts about 3,000,000 visitors a year. The Zoo has been named America’s #1 Zoo by Zagat Survey and Parenting Magazine. The Zoo’s web site is


AZA Members: Submit your Zoo & Aquarium News