Close to 1,200 people visited the Show Dome at Mitchell Park Domes on it’s reopening day Friday.
The Show Dome, along with the Tropical and the Desert Dome, has been closed for nearly three months. The other two domes are scheduled to reopen sometime in the fall.
Milwaukee citizens are happy to see the “Garden Impressions." It felt like Spring.
“I love the blue and the pink hydrangeas and the tulips are ready to pop,” Judy Dickerson said, noting she wants the domes to stay for forever.
The mesh installed above is protecting people from possible pieces of crumbling concrete. It's hardly noticeable. It is the perfect material to monitor any falling chips of concrete and is expected to hold for the next 6 to 10 years – buying time for people to think about whether they want to pay to restore the domes or replace it with another project.
The price tag is estimated to be $75 million dollars. The remediation project has cost taxpayers $100,000.
County Executive Chris Abele was there to welcome people in as the dome opened. He wants people’s input on the domes future. He also wants people to be open minded.
“I love the domes. But one of the things that's been an issue is when they first opened at their height, we used to get about 500 thousand people a year,” said Abele.
However, according to the domes director and county, the structures lose a fair amount of money — up a million dollars on a bad year and only draw in a quarter of a million people in per year.
“If the people in Milwaukee 60 years ago when we were here in a Victorian conservatory hadn’t been open-minded we never would have built these domes in the first place,” said Abele.
People have time to decide. The first of what will likely be many community input meetings is this Saturday morning inside the dome’s lobby at 11 a.m.
“We all want to save the domes. We want to save our parks. I mean we’re watching things deteriorate steadily in our parks due to under funding over 30 years,” said Cheri Briscoe who is on an advisory commission for Milwaukee County Parks.
The idea of a possible sales tax to pay for the up kept of Milwaukee parks and this landmark has already blossomed.