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County considers proposal for new Milwaukee Public Museum site at Mitchell Park

A proposal to move the Milwaukee Public Museum to the Domes location at Mitchell Park was submitted by Milwaukee County Supervisor Marina Dimitrijevic on October 25.

The Milwaukee Public Museum is currently exploring possible sites for a new facility, and is considering the costs and available options during the planning process. A capital campaign is underway to facilitate replacing the present building and to finance a new one. Project architects have also suggested a lakefront option.

“Locating the new Milwaukee Public Museum in Mitchell Park creates a tremendous opportunity for establishing a new world-class cultural site with multiple amenities in the south side of Milwaukee,” said Dimitrijevic. “There is awesome potential in aligning the work of the horticultural conservatory with the Milwaukee Public Museum and locating both in one of the south side’s greatest parks. We can preserve the mission of the Mitchell Park Domes by partnering with the museum to provide educational programming while delivering a stronger, bolder experience to our residents and visitors. The positive possibilities of this proposed relationship are endless.”

The proposal recommends a combined governing structure to manage the museum and the Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory. The County’s Finance and Audit Committee unanimously recommended including Dimitrijevic’s proposal for a new county work group to evaluate collocating the facilities in Mitchell Park as an amendment to the 2019 county budget.

The amendment also creates immediate synergy around the united educational mission that both amenities share and county residents enjoy.

“MPM is excited about our future and is continuing to explore many possibilities and potential partnerships.,” said Dr. Ellen Censky, Interim President and CEO of the Milwaukee Public Museum. “The proposed Milwaukee County taskforce to explore the feasibility of collocating MPM at Mitchell Park is just one such possibility and we are interested in the findings.”

Putting the museum at Mitchell Park has the potential to solve a couple existing problems. The Domes are in dire need of repairs that could cost up to $95 million, and the museum is seeking to raise $100 million for its relocation.

County Executive Chris Able expressed his support for exploring the idea, which would align the work and governing structure with the horticultural conservatory.

“Sustaining the cultural and educational institutions that our community depends on presents a challenge for Milwaukee County with our current fiscal limitations,” said Abele. “The Milwaukee Public Museum and the Mitchell Park Conservatory foster vital education and engagement with the world around us, and combining the two is a potential solution to securing their future. We need creative ideas to support the mission and collections of these two important institutions, and I will be interested to see the results of a study that explores the benefits of connecting the two.”

© Photo

Lee Matz and Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory

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