The new Audubon Insectarium recently opened in 23,000 sq feet of the old US Custom House on Canal Street near the French Quarter. It is the first major tourist attraction to open in New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina.
The facility, built with $6.2 million in private donations and $20 million in public money, is one of only a few stand-alone, nonprofit insectariums.
In New Orleans, displays include spiders, centipedes and crawfish as well as ants, mosquitoes and other insectoid six-leggers. Nit-pickers might say that means it isn't an insectarium. "Arthropodarium" might be appropriate.
The Audubon Insectarium occupies the first floor of the block-size United States Custom House building, a National Historic Landmark on Canal Street near the Mississippi River. The Custom House is a tourist attraction itself because of its architecture and history.
photo courtesy 2theadvocate
The Insectarium joins 11 other popular Audubon Nature Institute attractions in New Orleans, including The Audubon Zoo, Aquarium of the Americas, Entergy IMAX® Theatre and Woldenberg Riverfront Park.
Officials expect about 350,000 visitors a year to the Insectarium.