D.C.’s National Aquarium to close Monday

WASHINGTON – It opened its doors in Washington in 1885. Since 1932, it’s delighted visitors at its present site inside the Commerce Department. But Monday is the last day for the National Aquarium.

For decades it seemed a bit funky – a little off the tourist path, somewhat dark, in the basement of the sprawling granite government building. But generations of area families and tourists have delighted in seeing its fish, turtles, alligators and snakes. The aquarium is shutting down as the Herbert Hoover Building undergoes renovation. It’s been without government funding since 1982 and has been privately funded since.

The animals are being transferred to places including the National Aquarium in Baltimore, whose pyramid-shaped building is much flashier and more modern than the little aquarium in the basement of the Commerce Department.

The National Aquarium in Baltimore plans a future presence in Washington, but has not yet decided on the site or the size of a D.C. location.

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