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Milwaukee County Budget Problems Raise Concerns About Future Of Mitchell Park Domes

The backside of the Mitchell Park Domes.
Joy Powers
The Mitchell Park Domes in Milwaukee.

The Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory, known as The Domes, is one of the most iconic buildings in Milwaukee. These large, glass structures are home to a wide array of plants — from cacti and succulents in the desert dome to fruit trees and ferns in the tropical dome.

But The Domes have needed repairs for a long time and there are many opinions on what the path forward should look like. The county is facing a funding shortage which complicates any plan for The Domes' future, according to reporter Tom Daykin.

"Over time, they’ve run into maintenance problems, leaking windows, and crumbling aspects to the building. And this, of course, is just one small part of the larger problem of Milwaukee County having this huge backlog in deferred maintenance projects," says Daykin. 

After nearly three years of work, the Domes Task Force has recommended a “Business Plan and Conceptual Design” for the building. It will publicly present its proposal to the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors on Wednesday, Sept. 18 at the Mitchell Park Domes Annex at 6 p.m.

Joy is a WUWM host and producer for Lake Effect.