County looking at all options for Mitchell Park Domes' future

NOW: County looking at all options for Mitchell Park Domes’ future

MILWAUKEE COUNTY (CBS 58) -- A new resolution on the future of the Mitchell Park Domes is heading to Milwaukee County supervisors after being approved by the committee Tuesday, Dec. 6.

This new resolution aims to get estimates to demolish, restore, or even renovate the Domes.

The question of how to approach the future here at the Mitchell Park Domes has been a topic of debate for quite some time. Now, this new resolution is letting the board of supervisors take an open-ended approach.

Not everyone thinks it should be that way.

"It is a cultural institution that is inherently Milwaukee through and through," said Knitt.

Architect Buck Knitt says the Mitchell Park Domes are a design by a Milwaukee native who beat out international competition to be built.

The Domes opened in 1959 and have hosted generations of Milwaukeeans and tourists.

Knitt says what's at risk is losing that.

"That first feeling that you get when you walk in, think back to that," said Knitt.

That's why he and others are worried about demolition estimates.

"I think this is the key thing, we're not going for demolition, for the people who are concerned about demolishing or changing policies, we want to explore all policies," said Supervisor Sheldon Wasserman, Parks and Culture Committee chair.

County supervisors on the Parks and Culture Committee Tuesday said the new resolution is about considering all options.

"We need to know exactly what it would cost to demo, because that could lead to using those dollars to actually preserve it," said Parks and Culture Committee Supervisor Steve Taylor.

Meaning while they want demolition estimates, they also want a menu of options to talk about for next fall's budget, so something can be done.

"We have to move forward, and time is really becoming of the essence on it. We are letting this thing fall apart by benign neglect," said Supervisor Wasserman.

People like Knitt are just worried that having that estimate in the first place is one step closer to potentially losing a historic piece of architecture that some might not think of as important in the now.

"We're half a century out, when we get more than a century out, the way we look at them will maybe be completely different," said Knitt.

The resolution, passed unanimously by committee, will go to the full board next week.

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