New York Aquarium Facelift?

For years, it seems, the NY Aquarium has been flirting with revamping its exterior.  In 2006, the city hosted a design competition for that very reason.  Three very interesting finalists were chosen, and eventually, one winner announced. 

Smith-Miller + Hawkinson's Winning Design Concept

Then, this spring, that design was thrown out the window for apparently being too restrictive to potential future growth.  The next step, according to city officials, is to re-work the interior of the aquarium to attract new visitors. 

First on the plate? A new shark tank. The $50 million tank would triple the aquarium's current shark population to 40, and plans for the 300,000 gallon tank include an arch for guests to walk beneath.  For comparison, 300,000 gallons is approximately 1/18th the size of the Ocean Voyager tank at Georgia Aquarium.  $50 million for 300,000 gallons seems a bit pricey to me, so perhaps other unreported exhibits are included in that number.

Ocean Voyager's 6 million gallons at Georgia Aquarium

ny-aquarium_51142All of those plans are now moot, though, as the New York state government is proposing 55% budget cuts to all of the state's "living museums."  This includes the NY Aquarium, the Bronx Zoo, and the Botanical Gardens, amongst many others.  If this proposal passes, any redesign or renovation of the Aquarium is surely to die. 

Sadly, I'm awaiting news of these types of budget cuts to occur all across the U.S. and the world, as unfortunately, educational and entertainment budgets are always the first to go.  If your local zoo, aquarium, or living museum is currently facing major cutbacks, please let me know and I'll gladly post your story here.