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Study recommends tearing down Mitchell Park Domes

Posted at 7:30 PM, Mar 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-12 20:46:21-04

The future of the historic Mitchell Park Domes remains in limbo, but a group is recommending they be demolished and combined with the Milwaukee Public Museum.

In recent years, pieces of concrete have fallen from the Domes causing them to close down and county officials are still trying to figure out a plan for the future.

“Not a lot of cities have something like this so why tear something down that makes us unique,” Josh Ashing, who lives in Milwaukee, said.

They are landmarks in Milwaukee and have been for more than 50 years. Those that live in Milwaukee can’t imagine the city without them.

The Milwaukee Public Museum Task Force commissioned a feasibility study by Gallagher Museum Services about whether the museum could co-exist with the Domes.

Their findings showed that combining the two entities outweighed the costs of renovating the domes.

They presented the findings Tuesday afternoon to the County Parks Committee.

“A joint facility could be developed and could be done so in a way that is maybe more efficient,” said Mike Devine of Gallagher.

Some members of the Park Committee are not on board with potentially demolishing the Domes, as it doesn’t align with the county’s policy.

“The thought of tearing down the domes just pains me and I know a lot of other residents to Milwaukee County,” Supervisor Steven Shea, 8th District said.

At this time, they’re leaving it as an option.

“The current policy, though, is still repair and restore the Domes, so please understand the study says something new can be made,” Supervisor Jason Haas said.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a non-profit dedicated to saving historic places, suggests keeping the Domes through federal historic tax credits. That could provide up to 20 percent of the funds to rehab the Domes.

“This is something that can be done and is done regularly,” Jennifer Sandy of the National Trust said.

A decision on the future of the Domes won’t be made any time soon.

A report from the Domes Task Force is still to come. That will look into the official possibilities for a long-term plan for repair and preservation of the Domes.

That's expected to be done by September.