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Seattle Aquarium Proposed $90 Million Expansion

Discussion in 'United States' started by snowleopard, 13 Jun 2015.

  1. snowleopard

    snowleopard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    The Seattle waterfront is currently undergoing a multi-billion dollar overhaul and the Seattle Aquarium has for many years now considered a major expansion. The latest plans include a Tropical Pacific Pavilion and with 811,000 annual visitors last year the aquarium is already one of the 10 most visited in the United States. Here is an informative link with a few diagrams:

    Seattle Aquarium aims to make splash with huge expansion - Puget Sound Business Journal
     
  2. NAIB Volunteer

    NAIB Volunteer Well-Known Member

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    I'm looking forward to what this aquarium has in store for its future. I visited a number of years ago before its 2007 renovation and I thought it was a solid aquarium for a great city. I do hope though their pinniped exhibits are renovated during this process. Many are far too small for such a great collection of marine mammals.

    Link for the draft master plan and open house:
    https://www.seattleaquarium.org/open-house/rsvp
     
    Last edited: 14 Jun 2015
  3. junglejim

    junglejim Well-Known Member

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    Given size of city the aquarium isn't huge as it could be. Like what's up with not having sharks?
     
  4. zooboy28

    zooboy28 Moderator Staff Member

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    Wow, $90 million sounds at first like a major expansion that would elevate Seattle into the upper tiers of American aquariums. I went to the aquarium last year, but just to collect a map of the place so I could see if it was worth touring, and that and the website didn't really show anything worth seeing, so I didn't bother. But after a $90 million expansion I initially thought it should definately be worth seeing. But then I saw (here: http://www.zoochat.com/22/mega-budget-american-zoo-exhibits-413604/) that they had a $41 million renovation open in 2007, and if that was as average as I think it was, then is there much hope for one that costs twice as much?
     
  5. snowleopard

    snowleopard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Seattle Aquarium receives 800,000 annual visitors and the ambitious goal is to hit the 1.3 million mark by 2030. That seems a lofty dream but also possible due to the burgeoning Seattle metropolis and the $4.5 billion-dollar redesign of the waterfront area. Hordes of tourists are supposedly going to flock to the waterfront by 2020 when the entire zone is transformed into a park-like setting to accommodate a doubling in the number of visitors. Of the 125 aquariums to be found in the United States I’d personally rank Seattle in the top 15, although it is definitely not as impressive as the facility located in Vancouver 2.5 hours to the north.

    The $41 million expansion that opened in 2007 was a case where only two animal exhibits were included. Window on Washington Waters and Crashing Waves are the very first two exhibits that visitors see and they both made their debut in 2007. However, most of the $41 million went to modernizing the underwater piers that hold up the aquarium, as well as a brand-new entrance and a large foyer that is able to host movie nights, guest speakers and congregating crowds. The upstairs café is excellent and in a location that avoids congestion and thus other than the two introductory tanks the bulk of the money went into improving non-animal related zones and a total of 18,000 sq. ft. was added.

    The expansion proposes a brand new gallery (possibly 75,000 sq. ft.) and what appears to be a whole new pavilion across from the existing main building. A huge shark tank will be popular and while I would like to see the current marine mammal exhibits updated (Sea Otter, North American River Otter, Northern Fur Seal, Harbour Seal - which was recently improved at a cost of $6.5 million) the focus is on sharks and a Tropical Pacific exhibit. There is talk of $200 million being spent although that is for the entire project and at least $90 million seems to be the minimum required to expand the aquarium. Either way these are exciting times for Seattle Aquarium and if everything works out then this aquarium will easily be one of the 10 best in North America.

    This article has lots of details:

    Seattle Aquarium has big plans for waterfront expansion | The Seattle Times
     
    Last edited: 22 Jun 2015
  6. zooboy28

    zooboy28 Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks snowleopard. The revitalisation of the waterfront will be great for Seattle, and hopefully the Aquarium can take maximum advantage of the increased foot traffic.

    I suspect a new building will use up a lot of the funds, but if they go big with it, and create a decently impressive shark tank, the aquarium could enter that upper echelon. I see the architects are the one's who did Moneterey and Shedd, which bodes very well.
     
  7. Zooplantman

    Zooplantman Well-Known Member

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  8. kiang

    kiang Well-Known Member Premium Member

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