A photo I took at the abandoned LA Zoo in Griffith Park, Los Angeles< CA
Visiting this abandoned zoo was the creepiest, most surreal experiences I’ve had a chance to document and photograph. The original zoo was opened in 1918, and most of the buildings we visited were build as WPA projects in the 30s. Closed in the 1960s and rebuilt at another site, the original site was eventually converted into a picnic area with cages and buildings left to crawl around in.
While we were never sure quite what lived in the cages, the standard setup was a public “viewing” pen below, and a staircase leading up to cages and beds behind. I came to the top of the stairs and turned the corner to be hit by this sight. All traces of life there were gone, only steel bars and Guillotine doors, concrete and brick—all covered in graffiti. Light poured through the cage door and the stairs at the other end of the hall. The bars on the “kennel” broke the sunlight across the floor. Most places the cage doors on the outer walls were bolted shut, but with this one open, natural light illuminated up the cold and forgotten home that was once a reality for the zoo’s residents day in and day out. There is no warmth in this place, even the sunlight that makes it in is dull and greyed.