• Success! Funding for Domes Planning Included in 2020 Budget

    November 25, 2019

    Thanks to the hard work of Domes supporters, the Milwaukee County Budget for 2020 includes $108,000 for the continued development of a long-term plan to repair and preserve the Domes and revitalize Mitchell Park.

    As Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors Chairman Theodore Lipscomb said, “The Domes are a beloved cultural institution that we have made a commitment to repair and preserve. It is important that we continue to make real progress at the Domes in 2020.”

    While this news represents tremendous progress and will keep up the momentum for saving the Domes, we aren’t out of the woods yet. We’ll continue to keep you updated and ask for your support as planning continues in 2020. If you haven’t already, please sign our petition calling for a preservation solution for the Domes, and share it with your friends.

  • Milwaukee Public Museum Task Force recommendation

    March 19, 2019

    Last week, the Domes were front page news. You may have seen this Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel piece or the other news outlets that reported the consultant to the Milwaukee Public Museum Task Force recommended knocking down the Domes.

    As you might have guessed, “the recommendation of bulldozing the Domes and combining with the museum at a shared facility landed with a thud.”

    The National Trust and Milwaukee Preservation Alliance were happy to see many county elected officials reaffirm that the current County Board policy is still to repair and restore the Domes. As Milwaukee County Board Chairman Theo Lipscomb noted, “The Domes Task Force is involved in a more extensive analysis than the Museum Task Force, and they are charged with drafting recommendations that I believe will lead to the repair and preservation of the Domes.”

    Please mark your calendars for April 3, 2019, when the Milwaukee Public Museum Task Force will hold a joint meeting with the Domes Task Force at 5:30 p.m. at the Gordon Park Pavilion (2828 North Humboldt Boulevard, Milwaukee, WI 53212).

    Prior to the meeting, we will share more information about how Domes supporters can participate and voice their support. The Save Our Domes Coalition firmly believes a future for the Domes based on preservation and rehabilitation would be the most cost-effective and environmentally sustainable approach. Thank you for your support!

  • Statements from Save Our Domes on Proposed Budget Amendments

    October 29, 2018

    On Thursday, October 25, 2018, during the Finance Committee meeting of the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors, the Save Our Domes Coalition read the following statements on two proposed amendments.

    The below statement was in response to Amend Org. Unit No. 9,000—Department of Parks, Recreation, and Culture and Org. Unit No. 1,900—Cultural Contributions-Milwaukee Public Museum. This amendment passed and will now be considered by the full Board of Supervisors:

    We are appreciative of the Milwaukee County Supervisors’ continued focus on the future of the Mitchell Park Domes, a beloved local landmark and nationally significant historic place. As this process moves forward, we would encourage this committee to work as closely as possible with the Domes Task Force, as well as seeking input and engagement from the community.

    As this amendment is discussed, we want to remind supervisors that time and time again, whether at public meetings or through online surveys, the public has voiced their support for protecting the Domes from disinvestment, destruction, and demolition.

    We are confident that as this conversation progresses, rehabilitation will be shown as the most cost-effective and positive outcome for the Mitchell Park Domes. Save Our Domes is eager to be a resource throughout this process, and we look forward to working together to build a successful and vibrant future for this iconic landmark.

    The below statement was in response to Amend Org. Unit No. 3,270—Office of the County Clerk and Election Commission and Org. Unit No. 9,000—Department of Parks, Recreation, and Culture. After discussion by the committee, the amendment was withdrawn before a vote was taken.

    Today, Save Our Domes spoke to the Finance Committee in opposition to the budget amendment proposing a county-wide advisory referendum related to the Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory concurrent with the spring election. A public referendum before the Domes Task Force can refine projected costs, potential public-private funding sources, and explore new governance models, would be extremely premature. In addition, the potential to investigate co-location of the Milwaukee Public Museum and the Domes has only just been proposed and should be a factor in these discussions.

  • Survey Supports Preserving Our Domes!

    August 6, 2018

    The results of last month’s public survey on potential options for the Domes are in—and they reinforce the overwhelming community support for a preservation solution for these Midcentury Modern icons. The survey received over 2,400 responses, and 67 percent of responders preferred reinvesting in all three Domes (options 4, 5a, and 5b combined). Thanks to all of you who took action for the Domes!

    The Domes Task Force’s Phase 1 "Future Path and Feasibility Study" report makes it clear that reinvesting in the Mitchell Park Domes would spur transformative educational, conservation, social, and community benefits, as well as encourage economic growth and job creation.

    Save Our Domes hopes that Milwaukee County will continue to take this overwhelming community support of the restoration and preservation of all three Mitchell Park Domes into account as the future of this historic landmark is decided. Stay tuned for more updates about the Task Force’s work and details about the next Save Our Domes meeting, to be held in late summer/early fall.
  • Architect who designed Milwaukee landmark the Domes has died at age 99

    March 20, 2018

    The architect of Milwaukee’s Mitchell Park Domes, Donald Grieb, has passed away at age 99. Most of Grieb’s other high-profile commissions in Milwaukee, including the Milwaukee County Courthouse Annex and Union Station, have been demolished, leaving the Domes to carry his legacy of daring Midcentury Modern design into the next generation.

    In a 2016 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel interview, Grieb's son, Donald Grieb Jr., said of his father's design: "He woke up at 4 a.m. and it just kind of burst into his head. I remember him making models out of toothpicks and balsa wood at home."

    Greib won an international design competition for the right to design the Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory in 1958. In addition to their stunning architectural features, the Domes are marvels of modern engineering, featuring the world’s first “conoidal”—or cone-shaped—domes. They are the world’s first glass conoidal domes, and remain the only glass conoidal domes in the world being used as conservatories. Grieb’s groundbreaking “Dome Building Construction” method received a patent in 1965.

    The Save Our Domes Coalition continues to advocate for the rehabilitation and reuse of all three Domes as a community resource, with programming and sustainable financial operations.

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Applications for the Telling the Full History Preservation Fund grant program are due December 15, 2021.

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