The New York Aquarium opened in 1896 at
its first home in the Castle Clinton in what is now Battery Park. When that building
stood in the path of Robert Moses' planned
Brooklyn-Battery Bridge (which morphed into the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel),
the Aquarium was temporarily relocated to the Bronx Zoo. Moses later promoted contruction
of its current home on Coney Island, which opened in 1957.
It's not an overwhelmingly large facility and can be pleasantly traversed in an
afternoon. The Aquarium sits on 14 acres by the sea and is home to over 350 species
of aquatic wildlife and over 8,000 specimens. It was adopted by the New York Zoological
Society in 1902, an organization now known as the
Wildlife Conservation Society that also runs the zoos in the Bronx, Central Park,
Queens and Prospect Park.