Beginning of the Zoo?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by 2018DAD, Sep 29, 2016.

  1. 2018DAD

    2018DAD Member

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    Am out in COS getting prepped for the Navy game (GO AF, Sink Navy!) and had a question for the board. Instead of 'chance-me', IC admissions, I thought I would ask something that has always intrigued me since we started this journey and maybe interests others here about USAFA trivia:

    When did the Zoo start, or in other words when did the Cadets and the Cadet area become "Fenced"?
    Was the public allowed on the T'zo in the past and only the Buildings off limits?

    Somehow I keep visioning the old plates and photos of folks strolling across the White House Grounds and wonder if such a thing happened at USAFA in the early days or was the entire base off limits?

    I know there are plans for a new Visitors Center just outside the North Gate with controlled bus excursions to the Chapel and Current Visitors Center as the base/Academy security situation continues to affect the public's access to the base/Academy.

    How about it older grads and PP members? How was this handled 'back-in-the-day"

    Thanks!
     
  2. haleym

    haleym Member

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    Construction of the fence began back in 2004. This was in response to 9/11 in order to heighten security measures.
    Not sure about the other questions, but I hope this helps!
     
  3. 2018DAD

    2018DAD Member

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    Thanks Haley!
    Hope to maybe see you at tailgate area/ or game!! We moved over to 27 this year. Didn't think it had been up that long!
     
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  4. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    I'm not sure how much it had to do with the fence. I thought it stemmed from the tourists watching from the Chapel wall area.
    (We discussed putting up some small signs saying, "Please do not feed the cadets" as a spirit mission...)
     
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  5. Blue&SilverBear

    Blue&SilverBear USAFA Alumnus

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    I'm pretty sure "The Zoo" nickname pre-dates the big black fence. I definitely heard a "Look, mommy! There's one!" on the way from Vandy to the tailor shop once...
     
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  6. 2018DAD

    2018DAD Member

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    Thanks for the replies. Just wondering what access to the 'Cadet Area' was like in the 'old' days.
    Yes, I remember now the zoo comment predates the Fence!
     
  7. Cerberi

    Cerberi Member

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    The terrazzo area has been off limits to tourists since at least 1974 when I first went as a tourist. So the closest tourists were allowed to the animals has always been the Chapel Wall.

    The original visitor center was more like a shack that was close to the South Gate and it was amazingly small with virtually no displays. I think the current visitor center opened in the early to mid 80's
     

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