Milwaukee's Mitchell Park
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1 acre under glass; each dome is 140 feet across by 85 feet high (7 stories); 750,000 cubic feet.
The world's only conoidal (not geodesic) glass house; the unique shape allows a better angle for solar heating and more height for tall trees.
Concrete frame with aluminum guttering and glass skin.
2,200 triangular panes of 1/4" thick wire-embedded glass is in each Dome.
Four one-million BTU low-pressure boilers fueled with natural gas, with a fuel oil backup system, heat the complex.
A fan system around the base and at the top of each dome keeps them cool. A complete air exchange is done in 3-1/2 minutes.
A maintenance elevator is suspended inside the top of each dome and can be lowered to within a few feet of the floor.
No pesticides are used on the plant material. Beneficial insects and toads eliminate harmful pests.
The plants are watered by hand every day. City water is pumped in to a water tank and then heated. The Tropical Dome also makes use of an extensive misting system.
Eight species of tropical birds, frogs, fish and lizards live in the Tropical Dome. Beneficial insects and toads live in all three domes.
The Kapok Tree, Ceiba pentandra, can grow 200 feet tall and up to 10 feet in diameter. Because the Tropical Dome is only 85 feet, 20-25 feet must be removed each year by Parks Forestry.
The Madagascar collection in the Desert Dome.