Wildlife Conservation Society – World of Reptiles

Project Architect: James Czajka

Designed by Heins LaFarge architects of NYC in 1900, the World of Reptiles was one of the six original Beaux Art structures constructed for the opening of the zoo. The structure consists of a brick and terra cotta fa├žade with a standing seam copper roof. Over the years the copper deteriorated from both the topside and the underside due to the extremely moist environment required for the animals. Upon removal of the original roof, the concrete plank substrate was found to be severely deteriorated, again due to the moist environment attacking the ferrous reinforcing embedded in the plank. Safety netting was then installed in the attic space and the deteriorated concrete plank replaced with double layer exterior grade plywood. Ice and water shield was installed over the entire substrate surface. New copper panels were formed on site and installed to match the original as closely as possible. The biggest challenge of this project was ensuring the comfort of the animals during operations. Seaboard worked with the exhibit zookeepers to ensure temperatures and moisture levels remained constant and noise levels were kept to a minimum.