THE FISHERIES BUILDING.
PICTURED on the opposite page is the FISHERIES BUILDING, including the two smaller polygonal buildings connected with the main building on either end by arcades. The extreme length of the building is 1,100 feet, and the width 200 feet. It is built on a banana-shaped island, and sub-divided into three parts to conform to the shape of the site.
In the central portion is the general Fisheries Exhibit. In one of the polygonal buildings is the Angling Exhibit, and in the other the Aquaria. The exterior of the building is Spanish-Romanesque, which contrasts agreeably in appearance with the other buildings.
The Fish Exhibit is a wonderful one, and not the least interesting portion of it is the Aquaria or Live Fish display, This is contained in a circular building, 135 feet in diameter, standing near one extremity of the main FISHERIES BUILDING and in a great curved corridor connecting the two.
In the center of the circular building is a rotunda 60 feet in diameter, in the middle of which is a basin or pool 26 feet wide, from which rises a towering mass of rocks covered with moss and lichens. From clefts and crevices in the rocks crystal streams of water gush and drop to the masses of reeds, rushes, and ornamental semi-aquatic plants in the basin below. In this pool gorgeous gold fishes, golden ides, golden tench and other fishes disport. From the rotunda one side of the larger series of aquaria may be viewed. These are ten in number and have a capacity of 7,000 to 27,000 gallons of water each.
Passing out of the rotunda by the entrances, a great corridor or arcade is reached, where on one hand can be viewed the opposite side of the series of great tanks and on the other a line of tanks somewhat smaller, ranging from 750 to 1,500 gallons each in capacity. The corridor or arcade is about 15 feet wide. The glass fronts of the Aquaria are in length about 575 feet and have 3,000 square feet of surface. They make a panorama never before seen in any exhibition, and rival the great permanent aquariums of the world not only in size but in all other respects.
The total water capacity of the Aquaria, exclusive of reservoirs, is 18,725 cubic feet, or 140,000 gallons. This weighs 1,192,425 pounds, or almost 600 tons. Of this amount about 40,000 gallons is devoted to the Marine Exhibit. In the entire salt water circulation including reservoirs, there are about 80,000 gallons. The pumping and distributing plant for the Marine Aquaria is constructed of vulcanite. The pumps are in duplicate and each has a capacity of 3,000 gallons per hour. The supply of sea water was secured by evaporating the necessary quantity at the Woods Holl station of the United States Fish Commission to about one-fifth its bulk, thus reducing both quantity and weight for transportation about 80 per cent. The fresh water required to restore it to its proper density was supplied from Lake Michigan.
In transporting the marine fishes to Chicago from the coast there was an addition of probably 3,000 gallons of pure sea water to the supply on each trip. Every visitor will take a deep interest in the Fisheries Exhibit.