Mitchell Park Domes Updates

The Mitchell Park Conservatory Domes have been an important and living part of Milwaukee’s history for more than 50 years.  Though the overall structure of the Domes remains secure, the materials and technology used during construction are now outdated, and we’ve observed concrete debris falling in recent years. Despite proactive steps to address this condition in 2013 and 2014, this problem continues to occur.  These conditions led to the decision to close the Domes until we can be certain that they are safe for our employees and for the public to enjoy.  Our structural engineers have identified short-term options to contain the debris, and we are please to announce that the Show Dome re-opened on April 29, two days ahead of schedule!


In the face of the pressing maintenance and capital needs, the County Executive has proposed and County Board has approved a study of long-term options for the Domes.  The Domes are actually the second conservatory to be housed at Mitchell Park. Before the Domes, there was a Victorian style conservatory that, after about fifty years, was no longer safe and was replaced by the Domes. Now, about fifty years into the life of the Domes, we’re facing a similar challenge.  It is time for us as a community and County to have a conversation about the best way to invest in the next phase of the conservatory and the park. Because of the cultural significance of the Domes and the extensive, and likely expensive, investment that could be required, the community has a vital stake in this process.  We are committed to an open and transparent process as we move forward.


Below are recent presentations that describe the current situation at the Domes, explain what’s being done right now, and outline how planning for the long term will take place. 


County Executive Chris Abele Statement on Domes Public Hearing

Presentation by Milwaukee County Parks Department and Facilities Department at February 24, 2016 Domes Public Hearing

Presentation by Milwaukee County Parks department and Facilities department at March 8, 2016 County Board Parks Committee meeting


In the sections below, you will find more information on:

For other information, please visit the Domes home page:


Mitchell Park Conservatory and Sunken Gardens, August 2, 1914


This site is powered by the Northwoods Titan Content Management System