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Belle Ilse Aquarium II

Posted by
Ralph Jones (Detroit, United States) on 17 February 2010 in Cityscape & Urban and Portfolio.

Although this photograph may not appear to be remarkable artistically or technically in any way, to many of my fellow Detroiters it is somewhat of a miracle. The Belle Ilse Aquarium is the nations oldest aquarium and has been closed to the public since 2005 because of budget cuts. The aquarium was opened in 1904 and was designed by architect Albert Kahn. There have been many attempts to reopen it since it’s closing some are still ongoing. On Feb. 6th as part of the Shiver on the River festivities on Belle Ilse the Aquarium was opened for the day. It warmed the hearts and brought back so many pleasant memories for all of those in attendance.

If you would like to read more or contribute to the efforts to reopen this historic building please visit:
Speramus meliora; resurget cineribus.
We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes.

Mission Statement:
To document the city in an attempt to inspire an appreciation and understanding of the uniqueness of Detroit, her buildings, and her people.

Speramus meliora; resurget cineribus.
We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes.

STEED from Gueret, France

" Aohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh !!! If we could swim,we'll also evolute in this cool Blue SwimmingPool"..........

17 Feb 2010 7:17am

Rags from Plano, United States

Cool looking place.

17 Feb 2010 9:39am

manel from Girona, Spain

Bonito interior y muy bien iluminado para la dificultad que siempre tienen estos sitios.

17 Feb 2010 12:19pm

Eric Cousineau from Sherwood Park, Canada

Nicely captured Ralph! ;-)

17 Feb 2010 1:13pm

Viewfinder from Bradenton, FL, United States

I like the way you captured not only the fish on display, but also some of the viewers. Nicely done.

17 Feb 2010 1:35pm

Stu from Scotland | Residing in Kyoto, Japan

Nicely done and I hope it's future is secured.

17 Feb 2010 3:56pm

Self-Indulgence from Chicagoland, United States

Wonderful summary Ralph, it turns your snapshot into historical art. Well done! I hope you enjoyed your visit there.

17 Feb 2010 4:30pm

Steven from Chicagoland, United States

I love how you've captured the people's undivided attention on the marine life. I like the colors and lighting as well. Looks like everyone is having a good time.

How were they able to coordinate the acquisition and placement of all the marine life when the aquarium is open for only a day? And where did the marine life go after February 6th?

17 Feb 2010 7:00pm

@Steven: Great Questions Steven, the aquarium and the Anna Scripps Conservatory sit side by side with a garden and koi pond that separates the two buildings. During the winter months the koi are removed and the pond is drained. The fish you see in the above photo are the koi from the pond. Side Bar: One of the koi that resides in the pond is quite old, rare, and valuable (I have no idea why or how much it's worth) and there was a proposal to sell that fish with the proceeds going to reopening the aquarium.

Sandy Weston from Madison, Maine, United States

This is a miracle! Bringing back something instead of giving up on it! Nice shot! :)

17 Feb 2010 8:29pm

Stephen Phillips from San Francisco, United States

Good job in difficult light, Ralph. Well seen.

18 Feb 2010 12:39am

Charles Dastodd from Chicago, United States

very cool capture :)

18 Feb 2010 1:15am

David from Detroit, United States

It has been ages since I've been in the Belle Isle Aquarium. It is a gem of a building, and I'm glad that it is still in good condition.

18 Feb 2010 1:52am

Eric from Near Detroit, United States

Thanks for the grat pics of the aquarium. I wish I could have gone to see it but was out of town that weekend. It's interesting to see there are still fish in the tanks!

18 Feb 2010 1:03pm

Céline from New York City, United States

Nice shot ! I like the idea of watching someone watching something else !

18 Feb 2010 8:42pm