Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium Is About To Get A $500 Million Facelift
When the Shedd Aquarium opened its doors to the public for the very first time back on May 30th, 1930, it was the largest indoor aquarium on Earth.
Today, the Shedd Aquarium no longer holds the title of the world's largest (it's the 3rd largest in the Western Hemisphere, behind the Georgia Aquarium and the Monterey Bay Aquarium), it's still the most-visited aquarium in the Western Hemisphere, and the most-visited cultural institution in Chicago.
Now, officials with the Shedd Aquarium want to make it even better, and they've got about half a billion dollars to make that happen.
Shedd Aquarium's Transformation Is Set To Begin Within A Few Weeks And Will Be Completed In Several Stages Over The Next Four Years
The plan, according to officials, is to start with a re-do of the aquarium's welcome plaza along with the atrium and several acres of gardens, then move onto a "dual-habitat freshwater and saltwater system in the rotunda, which officials said will serve as the beating heart of the aquarium."
From 2024 through the summer of 2026, the Shedd will add a new immersive “Changing Oceans” gallery detailing the different biomes throughout the depths, and a 40-foot Caribbean Tunnel, which will feature spotted eagle rays and a rescued green sea turtle, Nickel.
The final phase, which will go from the summer to the winter of 2026, will see renovations to the “River Wonders” and “Living Lakes” galleries, and restorations to the aquarium’s Grand Hall.
The Renovation Plan Is Scheduled To Be Completed By 2027, And The Aquarium Will Remain Open While Work Is Being Done
Here are a few artist renderings of what the coming changes to the Shedd Aquarium will look like, from the Shedd Aquarium's Facebook page: