Colonial Hospital

Downtown Rochester

Colonial Hospital

Rochester, Minnesota 55902, United States

Created By: History Center of Olmsted County


The reputation of the Doctors Mayo and the success of their new group practice were creating problems in Rochester. Between 1908 and 1912, Mayo Clinic registrations increased 300 percent and those folks needed a place to stay.

In 1915, Arthur Roberts and Harry Harwick constructed The Colonial, a 142-bed hotel on North Main between Fifth and Sixth Streets. The five story, two-wing structure was built to fill the demand for an additional lower priced hotel. Patients and visitors could feel a sense of calm and security when entering the lobby with sunlight streaming through the stained-glass skylight. With twelve-inch crown moldings in the lobby and hallways, The Colonial didn’t feel like a lower priced hotel.

However, after a rash of tonsillectomies where some of the rooms were used as hospital facilities, it was realized that there was an even greater demand for a downtown hospital.

So, in 1916, the Kahler-Roberts Corp. purchased the brand-new Colonial Hotel and transformed it into the Colonial Hospital. A sixth floor was added to the existing building and a third six-story wing was added to the south bringing the bed count to 230 and adding four operating rooms. Over the years the building was continually remodeled and updated and in 1949, a fourth wing was added.

By the mid-1960s, the Colonial Hospital had become obsolete and was replaced by Rochester Methodist Hospital. In 1985, with the halls empty except for dust covered memories, the wrecking ball made short work of the original 1915 and 1916 wings. Today all that remains is the 1949 wing.

History Center of Olmsted County

This point of interest is part of the tour: Downtown Rochester


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