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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