Spanning the fifty-foot distance between two limestone plinths at the east entrance of the zoo is the East Gate Arch, sculpted by Greg Leavitt and his daughter, Camille Leavitt. Vines of heavy gauge wrought steel pipes twist and turn, creating a spiraled form. It incorporates a diverse collection of animal figures, including a green iguana, a monkey, two fruit bats, a toucan, a boa constrictor, and an abundance of small dragonflies. These colorful animals are joined by a large lion figure on the north plinth and a life-sized kudu on the south plinth. The Women’s Board of the Lincoln Park Zoological Society donated this welcoming archway work of art in 2002.
The Pennsylvania-based father and daughter artists have produced many works of functional artworks together. Other examples of their collaborative work can be found at Delaware’s Mt. Cuba Horticultural Center and the governor’s mansion in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Although the Leavitts create pieces that are enormous in scale, their studio contains all of the tools necessary to complete each step of the sculpting process, something that they believe is a crucial aspect of blacksmithing.