The Belle Isle Aquarium was designed by famed Detroit architects, George D. Mason and Albert Kahn, and opened on August 18, 1904. The Belle Isle Aquarium has a Beaux Art style entrance that is decorated with an ornate arch incorporating two breaching dolphins and the emblem of Detroit. The Aquarium's interior features rare, green opalite glass tiles lining its vaulted ceiling, evoking the feeling of being underwater.
It is the oldest aquarium in North America and has served the Detroit community as a beloved attraction, and crown jewel of Belle Isle Park, for generations. When the Belle Isle Aquarium opened it was the third largest Aquarium in the world with salt water being shipped directly in from the ocean. Today, it is home to a unique collection of fish with one of the largest collections of air breathing fish in the world, and the aquarium houses the only known collection of all seven species of gar in North America. Walking through the 10,000 square foot historic building, you will travel all over the globe exploring the Great Lakes and waters of the world, from Africa to South American.
Belle Isle Conservancy reopened the Belle Isle Aquarium in 2012 after seven years of closure. While there is still a long road ahead to fully bring back the grandeur of its day and modernize infrastructure to contemporary Aquarium standards, immense progress has been made to restore the 113 year-old facility. The aquarium continues to grow and flourish as new exhibits of fish, amphibians and reptiles are added, tanks are restored, and history is preserved for generations to come.
Rebel Nell is proud to collaborate with the Belle Isle Conservancy to produce a limited collection that will preserve this piece of Detroit history. This beautiful and unique collection is created from the interior of the Aquarium, highlighting the original marine green color with flecks of gold leaf paint. We are honored to be able to preserve a piece of history that holds a spot in the hearts of Detroiters. 10% of the net proceeds from the sale of this collection will benefit the Belle Isle Conservancy.
Shop the Belle Isle Aquarium Collection Here!