Peabody Hall/ St. Louis Zoo, MO

From elephant house to exhibit hall

The St. Louis Zoo is known as an architectural destination as well as a world class zoo. Peabody Hall is the oldest structure, built in the Renaissance Revival style in 1917 and originally used as the Elephant House. After 20 years of use for storage, Peabody Hall was repurposed in 2009 to house temporary exhibits in celebration of the zoo’s 100th anniversary.

The most noteworthy window — an ornate quatrefoil unit in the attic — was in dire need of repair. Because of the complex shape of the window, its replacement was designed as a combination of clad true divided lites and simulated divided lites. Five pieces of glass are used to replicate the window. The Peabody Hall project includes Marvin Commercial Doors clad in Wineberry. All windows and doors were glazed with black spandrel insulated glass for light control, providing flexibility for future needs.

Project Highlights

  • Originally valued at $23,000, the building was designed by architect George Barnett, whose firm was responsible for the design of Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis.
  • Black spandrel insulating glass was specially applied to emulate the appearance of field-painted glass.
  • The quatrefoil window uses 2" clad Authentic Divided Lites (ADL) to form the rectangular center section and 1 1/8" Simulated Divided Lites (SDL) for the remainder of the divided lites.

Building Type

Adaptive reuse: animal housing converted to flexible exhibit/public space.

Units and Applications

3 operating and 4 fixed clad commercial doors with a 6" intermediate rail, 1 1/8" SDL, mill-finish low profile sill and stainless steel ball bearing hinges; 5 large in-sash transoms;2 sets of twin stationary awning windows; and a quatrefoil window, all clad in Wineberry with field-applied clad casing.


Ottolino Winters Huebner


Alberici Constructors, Inc.

  Peabody Hall

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