Caldwell & Walsh Building Construction, Inc.
The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk | Norwalk, Connecticut
This is the largest refurbishment since 2001 known as the FINtastic RefurbFISHment. The newly renovated aquarium features 21 dynamic new exhibits. Every permanent exhibit in every single gallery was reinterpreted with interactivity. The sharks and rays gallery included a 6,000 gallon touch pool, increased from 20 feet to 90 feet, and is the centerpiece when entering and where visitors may touch nurse sharks and a variety of rays. Past the sharks and rays gallery is the revamped and renamed Newman’s Own Hall, a tribute to a grant from Newman’s Own Foundation, a longtime supporter of the aquarium. The Hall is where visitors orient themselves and where harbor seals live. It now boasts an elevator instead of a staircase to allow a different means of getting around the building. A school-bus-sized map of the Sound adorns one wall and various kiosks offer quizzes about local marine animals and habitats. New exhibits include one for fiddler crabs, a bird-watcher’s boardwalk in a salt marsh, and Seasons of the Sound, which demonstrates how the Sound’s population changes in the span of a year. There is also a floor-to-ceiling 110,000 gallon “Ocean Beyond the Sound” exhibit. The layout of the galleries and exhibits was designed and constructed to bring visitors sequentially from the furthest edges of the salt marshes to deeper waters.
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