Since opening in 1981, the National Aquarium in Baltimore has proved a popular tourist destination, an educational excursion, and a great refuge from the heat in summer months. Many people don’t know, however, that there was a smaller, more modest National Aquarium in D.C. for years before the one in Baltimore popped up.
Those who recall the original National Aquarium will remember it as a dark, tiny exhibit tucked away in the basement of a gigantic government building. But how exactly did this little-known Washington spot end up on the lowest floor of the Department of Commerce—today known as the Herbert C. Hoover building—on 14th St NW?
Washington D.C. has its hidden gems, but none perhaps as hidden as the long-gone and long-forgotten carp ponds of the National Mall, a main attraction in the District for close to three decades. But you’ve probably never heard of them, and the U.S. government is happy about that.