Scenes from the Georgia Aquarium. Source of photos: online version of the NYT article cited below.
(p. B1) One of its sensations, . . ., is simply its ambition — look what we have gathered and constructed! The Georgia Aquarium is billed as the world’s largest, and one can’t escape statistics of size and number: over 100,000 fish are displayed in five galleries and 60 habitats in the more than 500,000 square foot building; there is a 6.2 million gallon pool in which 1.8 million pounds of salt and minerals have been dissolved since last October and in which two whale sharks — the world’s largest fish — swim, displaying themselves to visitors through acrylic walls that are two feet thick. A stainless steel "commissary" behind the scenes holds 20,000 pounds of frozen food at minus 20 degrees Fahrenheit.
This aquarium is also somewhat unusual in its origins: it is not created by a municipality, or a society of subscribers like those that founded the earliest public zoos. It is almost completely the creation of a single man, Bernard Marcus, co-founder of the Home Depot, as a "gift" to the people of the city in which his company began. He and his wife, Billi, donated $250 million of the $290 million cost.
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(p. B7) The aquarium has been an overwhelming popular success. Even with admission prices of $22.75 for adults ($17 for children), demand has been so great that the building is often sold out. Tickets come with timed entrances, and 290,000 annual passes, costing almost $60 for adults, were purchased before their sale was stopped in January. A million visitors have come since the opening.
For the full story, see:
(Note: ellipses added.)