The renowned Lion House was once the site of a daily 2 p.m. big cat feeding where guests came to see the lions and tigers fed their meals up-close. Opened in 1940 as one of the original 1935 Works Progress Administration projects, the Lion House features outdoor grottoes that link to the indoor facility. It was designated as a historic landmark, and its location marks the center of the Zoo. The building exterior was built in a 1930s architectural style and still has much of the original building material intact though it has undergone major renovations over the years including the addition of an outdoor yard for lion cubs in 1996 (later renovated for snow leopards), and a habitat that once housed primates is now home to a fishing cat.
The large indoor area has since closed to the public as it serves as primary indoor quarters for the lions and tigers here. A portion of the building is accessible to the public where other animals are housed. Over the years, the outdoor grottoes have undergone much renovation to create more naturalistic habitats for the animals.