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About this collection

The New York Aquarium is the oldest continually operating aquarium in the United States, having opened in 1896. The Aquarium is managed by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).

Originally owned by the City of New York, the New York Aquarium opened on December 10, 1896, at Castle Garden in Battery Park.  On October 31, 1902, the City transferred control and operation of the Aquarium to WCS (then known as the New York Zoological Society). During the tenure of the distinguished zoologist Charles Haskins Townsend, between 1902 and 1937, the collections grew considerably, and the Aquarium attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.

In October 1941, the Aquarium at Battery Park was closed by NYC Parks Commissioner Robert Moses in preparation for the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel. Many of the Aquarium’s inhabitants were temporarily housed at the Bronx Zoo's Lion House until the new aquarium was built after World War II. On June 6, 1957, the New York Aquarium opened at its present location in Coney Island, Brooklyn.

The Aquarium has a long history as a beloved New York City attraction, and the postcards on display here show off the sights that have dazzled and educated generations of visitors over the years.

 

 
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