Zoo Lake Number 1 at Grover Nelson Park has been renamed Tittle Lake in honor of Jimmy Tittle, the original designer and architect of the Abilene Zoo.
Mr. Tittle is a founding member of the Abilene architecture firm Tittle Luther Partnership, and worked as the primary architect for the original Abilene Zoo that opened in 1966.
In 1968, Mr. Tittle received the Award of Merit from the Texas Society of Architects for the Abilene Zoo design. The zoo’s original plans span over 35 two-foot by three-foot pages, and were all hand-drawn by Tittle.
The positioning of the zoo around the lake is one of several notable design features crafted by Tittle. This configuration next to the 33-acre body of water allows what is now Tittle Lake to act as a natural air conditioner to the zoo. Hot south or westerly winds are able to cool over the water before reaching the zoo and its animals.
The Tittle Luther Partnership merged with Parkhill in 2012 and has since designed the zoo’s Giraffe Terrace project in 2013, and the Madagascar exhibit that opened in 2021. Parkhill continues to work hand in hand with the zoo and is currently drafting designs for the zoo’s new masterplan.
An official dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony for Tittle Lake will be held Tuesday, March 22, 2022, at 4 p.m. on the southwest side of the lake located at 2070 Zoo Lane.