Monday, August 5, 2013

About The Public Aquariums

The first public aquarium was opened in London Zoo in May 1853; the Fish House, as it came to be known, was constructed much like a greenhouse. P.T. Barnum quickly followed in 1856 with the first American aquarium as part of his established Barnum's American Museum, which was located on Broadway in New York before it burned down. In 1859, the Aquarial Gardens were founded in Boston. A number of aquariums then opened in Europe, such as the Jardin d'Acclimatation in Paris and the Viennese Aquarium Salon (both founded 1860), the Marine Aquarium Temple as part of the Zoological Garden in Hamburg (1864), as well as aquariums in Berlin (1869) and Brighton (1872).
The old Berlin Aquarium opened in 1869. The building site was to be Unter den Linden (along a major avenue), in the centre of town, not at the Berlin Zoo. The aquarium's first director, Alfred Brehm, former director of the Hamburg Zoo from 1863 to 1866, served until 1874. With its emphasis on education, the public aquarium was designed like a grotto, part of it made of natural rock. The Geologische Grotte depicted "the strata of the earth's crust". The grotto also featured birds and pools for seals. The Aquarium Unter den Linden was a three-story building. Machinery and water tanks were on the ground floor, aquarium basins for the fish on the first floor. Because of Brehm's special interest in birds, a huge aviary, with cages for mammals placed around it, was located on the second floor. The facility closed in 1910.

The Artis aquarium at Amsterdam Zoo was constructed inside a Victorian building in 1882, and was renovated in 1997. At the end of the 19th century the Artis aquarium was considered state-of-the-art, as it was again at the end of the 20th century.

The oldest American aquarium is the National Aquarium in Washington, D.C., founded in 1873. This was followed by the opening of other public aquariums: San Francisco (Woodward's Garden, 1873–1890), Woods Hole (Science Aquarium, 1885), New York (Battery Park, 1896–1941), La Jolla (Scripps, 1903), Honolulu (Waikiki Aquarium 1904 - present), Detroit (Belle Isle Aquarium, 1904–2005, 2012-Present), Philadelphia (Fairmount Water Works, 1911–1962), San Francisco (Steinhart Aquarium, 1923), Chicago (Shedd Aquarium, 1929).

For many years, the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago was the largest aquarium in the United States, until the Georgia Aquarium inAtlanta opened. Entertainment and aquatic circus exhibits were combined as themes in Philadelphia's Aquarama Aquarium Theater of the Sea (1962–1969) and Camden's re-invented Adventure Aquarium 2005, formerly the New Jersey State Aquarium (1992).
The first Japanese public aquarium, a small freshwater aquarium, was opened at the Ueno Zoo in 1882. In 2005, the Georgia Aquarium, with more than 8 million U.S. gallons (6.7 million imp gal; 30 million L) of marine and fresh water, and more than 100,000 animals of 500 different species opened inAtlanta, Georgia. The aquarium's notable specimens include whale sharks and beluga whales.

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