The Belle Isle Aquarium has come back to Detroit and the fish are waiting for you! After a seven year hiatus brought on by budget cuts, massive support from volunteers has allowed the Aquarium to once again open its doors. This Saturday, September 15, 2012, will be the grand reopening with every Saturday thereafter being open from 10 am to 3 pm. Aquarium patrons can even enjoy the attractions free of charge!
For anyone who has lived in the Metro Detroit area, you know what a wonderful part of our history Belle Isle is. Many of us grew up going over to the island and visiting the beautiful and historical aquarium. Unfortunately, that all ended in 2005 when the aquarium was closed due to budget cuts. For a lot of Metro Detroiters, it was a heartbreaking loss.
At the time of its closing, the Belle Isle Aquarium was the oldest continually operating aquarium in North America. Designed by Albert Kahn, it opened on August 18, 1904 and was in operation for 101 years! Despite a push from volunteers in 2005, the aquarium officially closed its doors. Since then, there have been several attempts to get the aquarium reopened. Finally, through fundraising, grants and no shortage of loyal volunteers, the money was raised and the aquarium will be open for new visitors to enjoy!
The building has received necessary repairs and several of the tanks have been revitalized. Truly, the aquarium itself is a sight to behold. Designed as a single, large gallery, the green glass tile and arched ceiling evokes an underwater feeling to all who visit. Though there used to be more than 60 exhibits, there will be a limited amount in operation at the opening. However, there will be art in the exhibits that are dry and volunteers are working to restore all of the tanks to their former glory. Patrons will be able to see some of the fish who resided there in 2005 and also some new additions to the collection. In time, the other tanks will be cleaned, restored and made into habitats for new fish.
For many metro Detroiters, the Belle Isle Aquarium is part of their history and now, a whole new generation will get to experience the awe and wonder of the aquarium as well!
For information, visit https://www.facebook.com/events/283847261728899.