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Mitchell Park Horticulture Conservatory

Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory (Mitchell Park Domes or The Domes) is a conservatory located at Mitchell Park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States. It is owned and operated by the Milwaukee County Park System and replaced the original Milwaukee Conservatory from 1898 to 1955. The three domes display a large variety of plant life.

Designed by Donald L. Grieb Associates, Architect, the Conservatory is composed of three beehive-shaped glass domes that span 140 feet (43 m) in diameter and are 85 feet (26 m) high. They are properly referred to as the world’s first conoidal domes. They covered 45,000 square feet (4,200 m2) of display area and were constructed in stages from 1959 to 1967.

Connecting the three domes is a central lobby area, which was extensively redesigned in the summer of 2008. A smaller service dome behind the Conservatory holds replacement plants and an orchid collection. This section is not open to the public.

Deterioration of the Domes

The Conservatory was closed during the summer of 2008 to facilitate the replacement of 800 cracked glass panels. In addition, the lobby was remodeled, and a $500,000 donation allowed for a new external and internal lighting system. The Conservatory re-opened to large crowds on October 20, 2008. A series of concerts were held on Thursday nights through November. Other improvements include a reconfigured parking lot, outside landscaping, and a new educational center.

Arid Dome

The Arid Dome opened in November 1967. It displays a wide variety of plants from the Americas and Africa. The American section contains a large number of plants native to the Sonoran Desert, including shrubs, trees, annuals, and bulbs, as well as the familiar cacti. The African section has aloes, crassulas, euphorbias, and the unusual Welwitschia plant, which has only two continuously growing leaves and may live for over a thousand years. Bed Bug Exterminator Milwaukee

Another section hosts the succulent flora of Madagascar and includes plants such as Euphorbia, Pachypodium, Adenia, Didierea, Alluaudia, and Operculicarya. Many of them were grown from seeds obtained in Madagascar. This area was formally dedicated on September 8, 1984, by Leon Rajaobelina, the Ambassador from Madagascar.  In August 2006, an Encephalartos ferox produced a double red-colored cone. It is only the second time in over 30 years that this has happened. The cones are expected to last several months until spring brings warmer weather.

Mitchell Park

Mitchell Park is one of the six original Milwaukee parks created by the first park commission. It occupies a spot on the south side of Milwaukee, WI, starting with a core of 5 acres (20,000 m2) donated by John L. Mitchell, father of General Billy Mitchell, and named for the donor. Further donations brought the total area to just over 60 acres (240,000 m2).

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