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Luray Zoo

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Mid-20th century; 1982–present, Mark Cline, sculptor. 1087 U.S. 211
  • (Photograph by Mark Mones)
  • (Virginia Department of Historic Resources)
  • (Photograph by Mark Mones)
  • (Photograph by Mark Mones)
  • (Photograph by Mark Mones)

Opened in 1982 by Virginia Beach zookeeper Jim Martin, this business is located at a former farm machinery dealership west of Luray. The prefabricated-metal showroom was converted into a gift shop and reptile exhibit, complementing a fenced petting zoo at the back of the lot. To attract motorists driving by his roadside attractions, Martin commissioned sculptor Cline of Natural Bridge to construct a series of large fiberglass beasts that include a toothy brown Tyrannosaurus Rex and the gaping jaws of a giant crocodile, through which you must pass to enter the gift shop.

Writing Credits

Leslie Giles
Anne Carter Lee



  • 1982


What's Nearby


Leslie Giles, "Luray Zoo", [Luray, Virginia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Virginia vol 2

Buildings of Virginia: Valley, Piedmont, Southside, and Southwest, Anne Carter Lee and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2015, 82-82.

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