BizPoll: What should be done with the Mitchell Park Domes?

Initial estimate for replacement cost is $65 million to $75 million

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The Mitchell Park Domes, an iconic Milwaukee landmark for nearly 50 years, may be nearing the end of their lifespan.

All three domes at the Mitchell Park Conservatory have been closed since Friday, a week after a piece of a concrete casting fell and prompted county officials to close the park’s desert dome on Jan. 28.

The Mitchell Park Domes
The Mitchell Park Domes

The long-term fate of the Domes, completed in 1967, has been brought into question.

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According to a report released Monday by Graef, a Milwaukee-based engineering and consulting firm: “The Domes are old structures that are showing the effects of their age. They will continue to deteriorate unless major renovations are completed.”

Abele estimated the domes would cost between $65 million and $75 million to replace.

A short-term solution being explored by the county is wrapping the crumbling concrete castings on the Domes’ ceilings in what was described as a kind of canvas-like material that would hold the concrete in place. Abele estimated the short-term wrap could last 10 or more years and the cost would be somewhere in the “big six figures.”

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A fundraising campaign to save the Domes has been started on

What do you think should be done about the Domes? Let us know by voting in the BizPoll at

Click here to see an archive to BizPoll results.

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