On Monday, a study was released that recommends demolishing the long-troubled Mitchell Park Domes, and replacing them with a new, shared facility with the Milwaukee Public Museum. “The cost of properly renovating the Domes greatly outweighs the benefit of doing so,” the study begins. “As part of our recommendation, we have concluded that the content and experience of the Domes could the be integrated into the Milwaukee Public Museum on the site of the current Domes in a new 222,000 SF building.”
Reaction to the study was, well, not great.
Now, add Milwaukee County Supervisor Sylvia Ortiz-Velez to the list of people who aren’t thrilled with the idea of knocking down the Domes. On Wednesday, Ortiz-Velez released a statement that says “it is not Milwaukee County’s policy to demolish the Domes, nor is that my position.” Her statement also clears up some confusion about the many task forces surrounding the Domes and MPM. (The task force that commissioned the study is separate from the Domes Task Force, which has been meeting for years. Both task forces will meet on April 3, at 5:30 p.m., at the Gordon Park Pavilion.)
Read Ortiz-Velez’s full statement below, followed by a thrilling time-lapse video of Steve, the bearded dragon who lives at the Domes.
“Recent media reports about the Mitchell Park Domes have generated renewed interest in the future of those structures and the horticultural conservatory they house.
“Last year, Milwaukee County established a task force to study the idea of locating the Milwaukee Public Museum at Mitchell Park. This task force commissioned a study to look into that idea, and the firm that conducted the study recommended demolishing the Domes and building a new facility to house both the Milwaukee Public Museum and the horticultural conservatory. Although I disagree with the study’s conclusion that the cost of restoring the Domes outweighs the benefits, I am disappointed that the study did not adequately address the possibilities of combining the museum with the existing Domes structures.
“To be clear: It is not Milwaukee County’s policy to demolish the Domes, nor is that my position. My position is to restore and repair the Domes, and do what is necessary to keep the Domes operational for the foreseeable future. I also want to clarify that the Milwaukee Public Museum task force that commissioned the study released this week is a different body than the Domes Task Force, which I am a member of. The Domes Task Force is currently developing a long-term plan for the repair and restoration of the Domes, and intends to release that plan by September.”