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Constructed in 1892 to house the powerhouse for the city's network of streetcars, this historic structure is now home to exhibits of marine and freshwater specimens from all over the world, as well as those native to Ohio waters.


  • A picture of the Ohio Lakes and Rivers exhibit, taken from the aquarium's website

Since the Greater Cleveland Aquarium opened in 2012, the building it occupies has been home to a variety of marine life. The aquarium is used to educate the 700,000 annual visitors with exhibits that range from the aquatic life within Ohio rivers and lakes to tropical reefs that contain an array of bright, warm-water fish. Sharks roam where giant turbines once spun, and jelly fish swim in what was what an energy production plant smokestack.

The building was created in 1892 as a powerhouse to provide electricity for streetcars and railways. When personal automobiles and buses replaced streetcars, the powerhouse closed. The structure was empty for several decades until the 1990s, when revitalization plans emphasizing a return to downtown areas led to new tenants in the area from restaurants to a comedy club that utilized this building's space. The powerhouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Buildings. and is one of several historic buildings in the area that was renovated and repurposed.

History of the Powerhouse, Greater Cleveland Aquarium . March 23rd 2016. Accessed May 2nd 2020. https://www.greaterclevelandaquarium.com/history-of-the-powerhouse/.

Vora, Shivani. Cleveland, a City Repurposed, New York Times. June 26th 2014. Accessed May 2nd 2020. https://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/29/travel/cleveland-a-city-repurposed.html?_r=1.

Who We Are, Greater Cleveland Aquarium. January 1st 2020. Accessed May 2nd 2020. https://www.greaterclevelandaquarium.com/about/who-we-are/.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

https://www.greaterclevelandaquarium.com/gallery/ohio-lakes-rivers/