The New England Aquarium opened in the summer of 1969. The city had been without an aquarium for 15 years since the previous aquatic museum in South Boston closed in 1954. It is hard to believe this oceanfront city was without such an important staple for so long.
The aquarium was part of the waterfront urban renewal plan that transformed central wharf. The popular attraction itself has gone through many changes. A ship called Discovery that housed a sea mammal pavilion was once docked next to the museum where dolphins and sea lions performed.