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|No. 344: Tower at Franklin Park|
Postcard. Caption on front: Boston, Mass. Tower, Franklin Park. Postally unused. On verso: Printed in Germany. E. 49 Mason Bros. & Co., Boston, Mass.
| I used to run a program in Franklin Park in the 70s, and though my memory is getting foggier, I remember it being in the area of the zoo toward Seaver Street, by the bus stop and the temple. As I remember, it had a scorched look (I think people were using it for bonfires). There used to be stone bear "cages" in that area as well, I believe.
It is in the Zoo grounds ? behind the gorilla (Tropical Rain Forest) house walking towards the back of the lion exhibit. It does still stand. There is a pavilion, old stone stairs nearby, and I think this is in the area where the rose garden was. I will forward your email to the Zoo director to see if he knows more. ?Christine Poff
believe it does still stand, sadly but true to form. If you exit the primate center, heading towards the back of the park (sort of towards Egleston Sqare), on your right there are the remnants of an old stone staircase going straight up a steep little hill. Another way to get there is go past the Bactrian Camels and keep walking. It will be up to your left just before reaching the turn to the Primate center. Watch your step and go up. The little hill is topped off with a stone patio and the tower. You can tell there used to be more elaborate stone work other paths, staircases, etc. It must have been a lovely look out.
Not a ?tower?, however, as I recall, it was constructed to cage a gorilla, however, never did. Maybe somebody has a better handle on the specifics.
As I remember, that was a gorilla cage of which one escaped. It would have been in late forties or early fifties. I remember it being in need of major repair, but was left to deteriorate.
I believe this is the one behind the lion exhibit, though there?s another in the old ?rock garden?. From what I?ve been told, they were erected in the 1850s, when it was fashionable to have such to make your estate look ?European?. There was also a period when it had bent bars (when I was a kid) ? the story was that there had been a gorilla in there which escaped and had been shot. Seemed like folklore to me. J
Zoo New England
One Franklin Park Road
Boston, MA 02121
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Created: July 26, 2003 Modified: February 19, 2007