Reflections in Mayo Clinic's Gonda Building (Original B&W Photogrpahy)

2개월 전


This week, I've been back in Rochester taking care of my parent's coonhound-mix, Vern. With a little free time on my hands, I went down town in hopes of finding something worth taking a photo of.

Rochester, MN, is home to the world-famous Mayo Clinic. The hospital dominates the town and is given pretty much free reign. Even the city's governance seems to be subservient to the huge medical center... but I'm here to focus on the photography, not the politics. The situation, however, does lead to scenes like this next one. Only in Rochester, would you have to label the downtown area with a 3D sign. You wouldn't want visitors to become confused and think they're in the countryside.

Only in Rochester...

The newest of Mayo's large downtown buildings is the Gonda building. It is ninteen stories high which, to some, may seem small. Unfortunately, the clinic has several tall structures surrounding thehistoric Plummer building that used to be visible from every direction. Now, you have to be standing under it to get a good view, or catch its reflection in from a strange angle.

A Different View

This shows the Plummer Building, as reflected in a dome-shaped window that lets light into the lowest level (sub-street level) of the Gonda building. The door in the top right is the main entrance of the Plummer building and the reflection shows the top of the structure. The Plummer Building has a full Carillon, which is an array of bells that are played much like a piano. The Mayo Clinic employs a Carillon musician who plays the bells daily at noon.


The facade of the Gonda building has a sort of wave with two bumps that run vertically. Slight variation in the angle of the windows yield for some interesting reflected cityscapes.


One summer break, when I was working on my bachelor's degree, I actually worked in this building. The structure was only completed up to about the twelfth floor, and I used to take the elevator to higher ones on my breaks. It was amazing to catch the breeze through the glass-less windows on the sixteenth floor and look out over the small city in the morning light. I started work at 6:00 AM, so I could catch the sunrise if I was lucky.

I also worked in the Plummer Building, after graduating, as a temp. The medical library was undergoing a remodel and they needed to move books to a warehouse. As the only male temp hired, I generally got to spend about a half hour in the Plummer library, then was sent to receive books in the windowless warehouse. That's also a story for another time...

Plummer Building on a Diet

For those of you wondering just how large the Mayo Clinic is, here is a PDF map of the downtown campus. This does not include St. Marys campus a little further south. In addition to controlling most of the downtown area, Mayo has campuses in Arizona and Florida. They also have a large network of smaller town hospitals and affiliates and work with medical professionals around the globe.

Because of course they have a flag

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Wow, thanks for the layout of the Mayo Clinic there. That is so massive. I find it interesting how cities change over time and what used to be the downtown core becomes the outskirts.
I saw that you had nasty weather! We are in full fall mode and it looks like this is the last day of sunshine as we are heading for rain, rain and more rain. UGH.


Yeah, Rochester's downtown is basically the clinic, now. There are still shops, but many have been pushed out by high taxes. Onlin in Rochester does the Limb Lab (prosthetic limb store) have prime real estate... lol

We ended up getting snow over the last tow days! Fortunately, not much and it didn't accumulate. Good luck wit hthe rain up there. I hope you're at least getting some decent leaf colors.

I love those shots of the older building reflected in the new one. I knew the Mayo Clinic was a big deal, but I didn't know it was that big! It's not surprising that they control the whole town, but I imagine it's a little annoying for the mere peons who live in Rochester.


Thanks! I wish they had kept the skyline below that old building. It used to be the defining feature when heading into town from any direction and the sound of the bells wouuld carry to the outskirts of town. With the taller buildings and traffic noise (population has more than doubled since the 80's), you can only hear them downtown, now.

Rochester really caters to visitors of the clinic, even at the cost of it's permanent residents. Public transit is barely usable, and parking downtown is expensive and difficult. So, if you have a hotel room, you can enjoy the city center. If not, traffic and parking are legitimate problems.

The downtown has started to change a little, since the University of MN has a presence there, but progress is very slow. There is a lot of new construction and growth, though, which is a good thing. It should be interesting to see what the city looks like in the next decade.

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Howdy sir fotosdenada! Great photos here and very interesting to see the Plummer building in those excellent reflection shots! What are those two towers in the first photo?
Did you accept a job yet? You had an offer right?


Thanks. The "towers" are actually the streetlights for that pedestrian street. They're one of the few weird moderny (that's a word, right?) street lights I actually like.

No word on the job, yet. I just had the interview on Friday so it might be awhile. It sounded like they had quite a few candidates.


Well I hope they choose you. Those were streetlights? Dang, I didn't see any bulbs.

Fabulous photos! I was at Mayo years ago to visit a friend who had a rare condition and was having a liver transplant. It was successful and she lived many more years. It wasn't nearly as big back in the 80s as it is today.



Yeah. It wasn't necessarily small in the 80's, but it's gone from big to huge since then. The city (more like the Clinic) has a thing called DMC (Destination Medical Center) going, now. I'm sketchy on the details, but a few new buildings are going up, as well as property taxes.


You would think that the clinic would pay the property taxes for all the town's residents!