St. Louis Aquarium | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis Aquarium

Aaron Sprowl (left) and Charmaine Vonkriegenbergh dive in a tank at St. Louis Aquarium at Union Station while Amber Lanwermeyer relays questions from folks watching at home.  [4/8/20]
St. Louis Aquarium at Union Station via Facebook

The doors to St. Louis Aquarium at Union Station are closed to the public for the foreseeable future. But frequent visitors to the aquarium can still return there through video livestreams, available on Facebook.

They recently got a peek inside with a virtual scuba diving lesson from general curator Aaron Sprowl as he swam around a water tank, surrounded by fish.

His mask was equipped with a headset that allowed him to talk to the audience at home. The diving livestream was one way aquarium employees are staying in touch with the facility’s audience and providing some content for would-be visitors who are sheltering at home. 

Auarium collage of images
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis Aquarium at Union Station opened with a big splash on Christmas Day. Thousands of area residents have been streaming through its gates in the two weeks since, and aquarium staff have had to turn some families away due to sellout crowds.

For executive director Tami Brown, that's been the only downside of an otherwise successful launch of the new downtown destination. Many visitors have expressed excitement about their experiences, staff have been enthusiastic about their interactions with visitors and animals, and the marine species that  now call the aquarium home seem to be adapting well.

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, Brown joined host Sarah Fenske for a deeper dive into the new activity at Union Station. Joining the conversation was St. Louis Aquarium curator Aaron Sprowl, who discussed the wide-ranging creatures and their transition to a new space. The segment included an audio tour of the aquarium, first impressions from children and adults alike, and plenty of questions from listeners who called into the show.

The St. Louis Wheel at Union Station stands 200-feet-tall. The new attraction in downtown St. Louis will be open year-round.
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

A new attraction in downtown St. Louis will open to the public in less than a week — the St. Louis Wheel.

The 200-foot-tall observation wheel at Union Station is part of a multimillion-dollar entertainment complex, which will include an aquarium, mini golf course and soda fountain. 

Architectural illustration of the St. Louis Wheel, which will be built at the Union Station entertainment complex. St. Louis Aquarium
St. Louis Aquarium

Construction will soon begin on a 200-foot observation wheel that will loom large over Union Station and provide sweeping views of the city.

The St. Louis Wheel, with 42 enclosed gondolas, will be among the first attractions to open this fall at the $187 million family entertainment center being built by Lodging Hospitality Management in the historic train shed.

The development’s centerpiece — a two-story aquarium featuring sharks and other water species — will open by the end of the year, company president Steve O’Loughlin said.

The 1.5-million-gallon aquarium opened in September 2017, featuring about 800 different species of fish, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and birds.
Wonders of Wildlife

Marine life probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind as a distinguishing characteristic of Missouri. But a wide variety of both freshwater and saltwater species now have a presence just a few hours southwest of St. Louis.

Shelby Stephenson joined St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh this week to talk about Wonders of Wildlife, a new aquarium adjoined to Bass Pro Shops’ national headquarters in Springfield.

The St. Louis Aquarium at Union Station is expected to open in 2019.
St. Louis Aquarium at Union Station

Work will begin later this month on a new aquarium at Union Station in downtown St. Louis.

Officials gathered Thursday for a groundbreaking ceremony for the two-story, 120,000-square-foot aquarium that will house aquatic life that can be found in the ocean and the nearby Missouri and Mississippi rivers.

The St. Louis Aquarium's main attraction will be  a 385,000-gallon shark tank.
Lawrence Group

Developers are planning to build a $45 million aquarium is Union Station near downtown St. Louis and they say it will feature one of the largest collections of sharks in the Midwest.