Tiger sharks glided swift and smooth, moray eels darted into submerged caves and, in a full-blown rain forest re-created indoors, leafy and humid, tropical birds flitted past tamarin monkeys.
John Racanelli, on his first visit to Baltimore's National Aquarium, was nothing short of astounded. Aquariums, he had thought, were dark, dank and strange. This ecological theater was anything but.
Racanelli wasn't just a suit on a business trip. Like many representing other cities that hoped an aquarium might do for their town what this one did for Baltimore, he considered himself a pilgrim. The National Aquarium, that was his shrine.
It was 1984 and as a scout from California's...