Saturday, February 25, 2012

Vintage Aquatarium St. Petersburg Beach

Performances by trained porpoise are held continuously under the Golden Dome, the world's largest geodesic, free span structure, of its kind. Preceding this, is a breath-taking show of high jumping porpoise in the 1,240,000 gallon main tank in the 31/2 storied building, which is the main entrance to the Aquatarium, on St. Petersburg Beach, Florida.

From Greg May, Florida Backroads: the-aquatari... to learn about this classic marine attraction from the 60's and 70's. The AQUATARIUM boasted the world's largest circular marine tank - 100 feet in diameter, 25 feet deep containing 1,244,000 gallons of seawater. As you approached the viewing windows encircling the tank, a wave of disappointment came over you for the water clarity was almost non-existant due to poor filtration. The Aquatarium was purchased by Frank Canova in 1969 for $4 million. He sold the property in 1980 for $40 million!


1 comment:

Greg May said...

American oceanaria tried to outdo each other back in the day in their publicity and promotional brochures by claiming to have the biggest tank. From 1954-1964 the largest tank belonged to Marineland of the Pacific with a capacity of 640,000 gallons. In June 1964 the Aquatarium opened on St. Petersburg Beach, Florida with a tank containing 1,244,000 gallons. But truly the largest tank ever was at Enoshima Marineland in Japan. Their tank was nearly the size of a football field! It was built mostly in-ground to keep it from bowing in the center. If anyone has any photos of this tank please share them on this or another website. I believe this tank - which was constructed in the late 50's - has since been demolished and replaced with an amphitheatre-style performance tank.