• 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.

  • Task force recently reviewed eight options for future use of the domes

    February 27, 2018

    On February 20, the Milwaukee County Task Force on the Mitchell Park Domes reviewed eight different “future options” for the Domes. This wide range of options included doing nothing and/or addressing deferred maintenance; conducting targeted investment; demolishing one or more domes; creating a new destination attraction; and more. View the presentation from the meeting here.

    Below is the statement the Save Our Domes coalition made at Tuesday’s meeting:

    “The Save Our Domes coalition believes the Domes are a valuable and essential part of the community, and we have been working to find a thoughtful, long-term preservation solution that will ensure the Domes remain a beloved Milwaukee icon and world-class conservatory for generations to come.

    From the beginning, we have said that inspiring, innovative architecture often requires equally creative solutions. We were pleased to see that several of the options have embraced this idea and include continued use of all three Domes. However, we are very concerned that other options include doing nothing or, worse, propose demolition of one or more of the Domes.

    We look forward to supporting scenarios where all three domes are rehabbed and reused. The Domes have been a center of community life and a tourism destination for more than 50 years. We cannot lose this iconic national treasure that is beloved by people here in Milwaukee and all across Wisconsin. Moving forward, we encourage a robust public engagement process so that Milwaukee residents can make their voices heard about the future of the Domes.”

    As more information becomes available about future Task Force meetings and opportunities for public engagement, we will keep you informed. Thank you for your support of the Domes!

  • December Task Force Meeting

    December 21, 2017

    The Milwaukee County Task Force on the Mitchell Park Conservatory Domes continues its work to guide a future for the Domes. The recent Milwaukee Magazine article “Report:The Domes Could be Attracting Many More Visitors Than It Is” provides an excellent summary of the December Task Force meeting and summarizes a recent report that “…specifies ways the conservatory could attract more visitors, serve broader community audiences and needs, and increase its economic impact by notching up operations, marketing and programming.”

    The next meeting of the Domes Task Force is currently scheduled for Jan 16, 2018, 3 – 6 p.m. at Journey House, 2110 W Scott Street, Milwaukee WI 53204. The meeting will be a work session for the Task Force. The Save Our Domes coalition encourage supporters to attend and show support for a preservation solution for the Domes, where all three domes are rehabbed and reused, as a community resource, with programming and sustainable financial operations.

    You can follow the Save Our Domes coalition on Facebook.

  • October and November Task Force Meetings

    November 8, 2017

    At the October meeting of the Domes Task Force, HGA and ConsultEcon presented preliminary findings from their ongoing work to complete a Future Path and Feasibility Study of the Domes. ConsultEcon representatives pointed out challenges and opportunities for this midcentury modern landmark. The presentation is available here.

    It is expected that HGA and ConsultEcon will present additional findings at the Tuesday, November 14 meeting of the Domes Task Force. Taking place at 5:30 p.m. at the Domes (524 S. Layton Boulevard, Milwaukee, WI 53215): Please attend and speak up in support of a preservation solution for the Domes, where all three domes are rehabbed and reused, as a community resource, with programming and sustainable financial operations.

  • Save Our Domes coalition launches

    July 5, 2017

    Earlier this month, the Save Our Domes coalition was publicly launched. The Coalition is advocating for a preservation solution for the Mitchell Park Domes, and the vision is to see all three domes rehabbed and reused, as a community resource, with programming and sustainable financial operations. Right now, county officials are considering demolition of one or more Domes, along with other options ranging from partial restoration to full reconstruction of the buildings.

    You can follow the campaign on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SaveOurDomes

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