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Originally published Monday, September 30, 2013 at 8:55 AM

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National Aquarium to close in DC after 128 years

Facility in Department of Commerce basement must move because of building renovations.

The Associated Press

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WASHINGTON — An aquarium that opened its doors to visitors in 1885 is closing its doors in the nation’s capital.

The National Aquarium is closing its Washington locatio•n after the last visitors leave Monday. Officials announced in May that the aquarium must move out of the U.S. Department of Commerce building due to renovations.

The 1,500 animals will be moved to other locations, including the National Aquarium in Baltimore, in the months ahead.

The aquarium’s Washington location has been housed at the site near the National Mall since 1932. For decades, it has drawn families and tourists to see fish, turtles, alligators and snakes in the basement of the massive federal building.

The aquarium’s board says it is exploring ways to maintain a presence in Washington, but a site hasn’t been determined.

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