Virginia Small

10 Reasons To Save The Domes

Their impact on city culture and image is immense.

By - Feb 24th, 2016 10:07 am
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Their impact on city culture and image is immense. Back to the full article.

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Categories: Politics, Real Estate

16 thoughts on “10 Reasons To Save The Domes”

  1. Sam says:

    I’ve never been to the Domes. I’ve lived in the area on and off for 14 years. That being said, I can appreciate other’s fondness for them and the unique qualities they bring to the city.

    Like many things in this city/county/state/nation, we refuse to pay for keeping the things we have built. The Domes have been neglected and now we are reaping what has been sown.

    If it will ultimately be more cost effective to build something new and equally beautiful, let’s get on with it.

  2. Vincent Hanna says:

    The Domes are a treasure. We take our kids there at least five times a year. We were there to see the trains with monsters right before they closed down. Another wonderful exhibit that the kids loved (though not as much as I did). Losing them would be a tragedy.

  3. Rae Nell Halbur says:

    People keep blaming “whoever” the domes were not taken care of and granted they probably need the once over again but it said right in the article there was “extensive interior and exterior renovations of the complex done in 2008.”

  4. AG says:

    I fully support doing whatever we need to do to keep the Domes. The value of those buildings are more than the dollars and cents needed to fix them.

    At the same time, I do want to know how they got to this stage. If renovations were made less than 10 years ago, were there no signs at that time of the issues? I read that the damage was caused by clogged drain holes by the panes of glass. Were they clogged by the renovations? If not, did no one notice the clogs during all the inspections over the years? Why do we have to wait for something to become an emergency before we do something about it? But most importantly, if the issues were caused by the renovations, wouldn’t the contractor be responsible for the damage?

  5. Dave says:

    We were married in the Domes a few years ago. It’s sad to see another County property neglected to the point of causing a danger to the public. If it really would $75 million to repair, though and that number isn’t just a number Abele came up with to make repairing them financially unfeasible and therefore politically safe, I say build something because certainly you could build what are essentially 3 large greenhouses for less than that price. As an engineer, that really is a poor design due both to geometry and environment.

  6. Virginia Small says:

    Rae Nell and AG: To clarify, the renovations completed in 2008 were upgrades to various elements of the Domes themselves, adding LED lighting for light shows, improving the lobby and restrooms, etc. There was also the addition of a working greenhouse, new parking lot, etc. There’s no indication of any connection between those refurbishments and current issues, which are more structural. That’s been talked about over the years, but separate from these enhancements.

    I have not researched the issues about repairs currently needed. However, the recent renovations, which were initiated by former parks director Sue Black and Sandy Folaran, the Domes director since 2006, have much improved the Domes and visitor experience. That’s a success story.

    Any building needs both ongoing and long-term maintenance. Conservatories are often needy, but they also serve a special niche especially in cold climates.

  7. David says:

    So Abele we can come up with $75 million for the Bucks but not the Domes?

  8. Sean says:

    I don’t understand the argument “we can come up with $75 million for the Bucks but not the Domes?” These things take time to work out. The domes haven’t even been closed for 20 days, give it time a solution will be found. It is irritating how everything turns into a political witch hunt in Milwaukee. It exposes another very ugly side of this community.

    Aside from that, lets work smarter with these things. The park is named after the family that donated the land to it, wouldn’t it be logical to try to solicit a large donation and name the domes after the philanthropist. There are several companies/ people in this community that could step up, Kohl and Cudahy will not be around forever and we’ve already lost some very generous people to this community.

  9. blurondo says:

    The billionaire Bucks owners are receiving taxpayer money. It’s time for them to give back. The benefits obtained by the broad spectrum of people experiencing the domes year ’round, far exceeds the narrow appeal of the NBA.

  10. Barbara Cooley says:

    If the Dome don’t have some sort of state of national landmark or historic status, they certainly should. Who would be in a position to make such a proposal? Where do we start?

  11. AG says:

    blurondo, don’t be one of those people to make this an arena vs domes issue.

    Besides, the arena hosts 1.2 million visitors each year to the domes 200,000. The NBA has 41 homes games but the arena hosts over 160 events a year. The domes employ’s a few dozen people but the arena provides hundreds of jobs. They’re on a different scale but BOTH are important to the city.

  12. Jeremy says:

    Blurondo, appeal and benefits are completely different issues. See AG above. Everyone that loves The Domes so much should have gone there more than once a year (and not on the free day!). The Domes as a property will never be on the tax roll. Everything in the Park East eventually will be and will also help drive up the value of nearby development (The Brewery & Haymarket Square). The Domes were a fantastic experiment that lasted 50+ years. It’s ok to let go and replace it with something more efficient and economical.

  13. AG says:

    For the record, just because I think the arena and Domes are separate issues, I still support repairing the domes. We shouldn’t just throw away our historical or important landmarks just because someone didn’t maintain them. They should be brought back to proper condition and maintained for future generations. We have lost too much of our history already.

  14. Virginia Small says:

    Barbara Cooley,
    The organization that would have information about potential historic preservation designations is Milwaukee Preservation Alliance: mpa@milwaukeepreservation.org

    Mary Louise Schumacher tracked down Domes architect and looks at their significance:

    ww.jsonline.com/entertainment/arts/the-singular-vision-and-big-ambition-of-domes-architect-donald-grieb-b99672239z1-370261501.html

  15. Barbara Cooley says:

    Virginia Small, thanks. I was able to confirm that the Domes are a designated national landmark. I’m now trying to find out what protections that designation confers. I’m pretty sure it rules out tearing them down or possibly even abandoning them.

  16. Barbara Cooley says:

    Correction: My source for that information was incorrect, I believe. The Domes do not have national landmark status, but certainly should. This needs more exploration.

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