August 2023: County Releases Preliminary Survey Results
The Committee for Parks and Culture met on July 18th and Jim Tarantino of County Parks presented preliminary survey results. These results were shared with a skewed negativity from both the County Parks and County Supervisors, and the media has picked up on this "disaster narrative" since that day.
On August 5th, the Shepherd Express released an article by Virginia Small that highlights the untold costs of demolishing the Domes (link on our homepage).
MPA will continue to push the County to do the right thing, but encourages all members of the public who can to attend the September 12th meeting for the Committee for Parks and Culture at the County Courthouse, 9am. More information available on our "How You Can Help" page above.
March 2023: County selects contractor to produce "all options" report
On February 7, Milwaukee County released an RFP for a consultant "to complete planning, construction cost estimating, and architectural services for different future state alternatives of the Mitchell Park Domes" (i.e. producing the "all options" report requested by the County Board in December). Full proposals were due March 1.
We're glad the County is engaging the services of experts for this incredibly important report, which is exactly what MPA had recommended. It will be critical, however, that a team with knowledge of mid-century buildings and the tools available for their restoration receive this contract.
The RFP also indicates that the report will be scheduled for completion in September, not July as originally indicated.
Finally, it is encouraging to see a requirement for public outreach. We are hopeful that this outreach will meaningfully engage the public in determining the future of the Domes rather than simply inform them of decisions already made on their behalf.
While we remain extremely disappointed that the County is exploring the possibility of demolition of the Domes, we maintain hope for the current undertaking. Taken in concert with past reports and work currently being done by ZS Engineering to provide a mock-up of a cost-effective reglazing solution for the Domes' glass (due late Spring), we believe this report can show the viability of the solution for the Domes the people of Milwaukee County have consistently said they want: Save Our Domes!
Rest assured MPA and Save Our Domes will continue to advocate for long term restoration solutions that save the iconic Domes and equitably revitalize Mitchell Park. Stay tuned for more detail as it becomes available!
Open the Winter 2023 issue of Preservation Magazine, the official publication of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and you'll be treated to a 10-page photo essay on our beloved Domes highlighting their incredible value as well as the danger they face. The attention paid to the Domes on a national level is an indication that this magical place is special not just to the neighborhood, the County, and the region, but to the nation as well. The eyes of America are on Milwaukee, watching how we treat our unique and acclaimed architectural and cultural treasure. As Milwaukee County considers its options for the Domes these next few months - including demolition - MPA, the National Trust, and our Save Our Domes partners continue our entreaties to the County to move forward on win-win preservation models like a conservancy and our ongoing offer to serve as a resource to help pull the pieces together.
If you want to make sure the Domes remains a Milwaukee icon, completing the form above will send a message to elected officials that you support preservation of the Domes. Want to do even more? Email or set up a meeting withyour County supervisor and County Executive David Crowley to share your support. Encourage them to be the visionary leaders the Domes and community need! And spread the word!