Virginia Small

Domes Are An International Star

They are a tourist and architectural attraction. Yet there’s talk of tearing them down.

By - Mar 3rd, 2016 03:44 pm
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They are a tourist and architectural attraction. Yet there’s talk of tearing them down. Back to the full article.

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Categories: Politics, Real Estate

5 thoughts on “Domes Are An International Star”

  1. Gary says:

    I have fond memories of regular visits with family (& grandma!) to the Domes in the 1960s-1970s. Maybe 1980s too. Visiting as an adult in the 1990s, my casual observation was that Conservatory standards were dropping: there was less permament plant material in all 3 Domes, and it was looking a little tawdry, but by the 2001s that downward slide was very obvious with wide open views in all three Domes stretching from wall to wall; mature plantings with height had clearly been removed and not replaced.

    The Park’s event schedule, like the “… under Glass” events, were a great addition for a multi-purpose place that was desparate to keep its doors open, but not for a true Conservatory setting. Good work to the employees that have kept the old place running on it’s last legs, but the old school employees were probably spinning in their graves.

    Can the “Domes” be repaired/replaced and funded as a true “Conservatory” again, hopefully with a permanent endowment and free access? Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo and Conservatory (free) or Garfield Park Conservatory (fee?) are examples.
    A connected, but separate event space would be great. Johnson Controls a likely sponsor/funder.

    Or replace it with a giant ChuckECheese / Dandelion Park experience with lots of flower beds (well-maintained, please?); a mixed use building that has a lot of bling like laser lighting, huge TV screens etc. Water pads and slides would be good too. Visit Navy Pier, Chicago. Likely sponsor/funder? Milwaukee County Parks.

  2. Jeremy says:

    Gary, Yes! The spirit of the Domes can live on. Let’s redo them! Look at the Desert Dome that the Omaha Zoo built. http://www.omahazoo.com/Post/sections/41/Files/Desert%20Dome.pdf
    It’s much more sustainable and operationally efficient. We could build two of these for the same price as replacing the three Mitchell Park Domes AND increase the space. Let’s incorporate solar, geothermal and rainwater collection.

    Can we be more like the forward thinking Milwaukee that built the Domes in the first place and less like the current Milwaukee that is always looking to the past?

  3. wisconsin conservative digest says:

    How many people come to Domes every year? They are landmark and should have been fixed instead of an arena that will only have about 50 dates per year. They are poorly run and promoted. Sell them to private group for $1. Maybe the Potawatomi.
    Look what happened to the poorly ruin Pabst when Cudahy took it over. County does not run things well, Abele worse. Larson is going to bury the arrogant jerk.

  4. AG says:

    WCD, what does the arena have to do with the domes?

    But to answer your question, the Domes see about 200,000 people per year.

    And a correction for your post, the Arena sees about 160 events a year, not 50.

  5. Virginia Small says:

    Domes attendance has been steadily rising and the County reported it was 248,000 in 2015.

    The Domes have experienced a renaissance in recent years with all sorts of innovative year-round programming, including a winter weekly concert series, ethnic festivals, Winter Farmers Market, etc.

    It’s also much in demand for weddings (and wedding photos) and special events, including for corporate parties and conventions. Perhaps it could be even better marketed as a tourist destination, but few public facilities seem this beloved by people of all ages and backgrounds. It’s also a bit unusual for an architectural icon to be so loved by the masses, not just by architecture fans.

    WCD: The wonderful Pabst success is another whole story, and of which Milwaukee can also be proud.

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