Explore Our History
During the summer of 1981, much of the "in the water" construction is completed, such as the seawall and the footings and columns that support the first level deck.
Watch a video snapshot of building the Aquarium.
Construction of the new seawall in the winter of 1980.
March 1981After two years of design work by the architectural firm Esherick Homsey Dodge and Davis, Aquarium construction begins. Architect Charles M. Davis says that the new building will reflect "the nature of Cannery Row itselfseemingly chaotic, a hodge-podge of roofs."
Unexpected Construction Kick OffAquarium construction is kicked off on a rather unexpected note in October 1980 when the old Hovden Cannery seawall began crumbling, carrying with it the fill material comprising much of the Aquarium site. After some fast-paced engineering design work, construction of a new wall begins. Due to its close proximity to the shoreline, work was restricted to a few hours per day of low tide conditions. With some of the concrete footings reaching 10 feet deep, this proves to be a challenge!