Plummer Building

Downtown Rochester

Plummer Building

Rochester, Minnesota 55902, United States

Created By: History Center of Olmsted County


Dr. William and Dr. Charles Mayo considered Dr. Henry Plummer to be a diversified genius.

Recruited by Dr. Will, Henry was hired in 1902 for his knowledge of blood. Soon, his other skills and interests came to light. As an inventor and innovator, Dr. Plummer designed and built tools and fixtures used in his blood lab. He collaborated with Dr. Charlie inventing new surgical tools and then building them in his home workshop. He reorganized the clinic’s record keeping by creating a numbering system for patients that is still being used today.

Dr. Will once said that the best days work he and Charlie ever did was hiring Henry Plummer.

By 1924, the Doctors Mayo were considering a new medical building and charged Dr. Plummer with overseeing its design. With a three-million-dollar budget and a quarter of a city block to work with, the last of Dr. W.W. Mayo’s original homestead, Plummer and head architect Thomas Ellerbe decided on a Romanesque style, which was popular in New York and Chicago. It would also showcase Dr. Plummer’s love of art and architecture.

The results would not only change the Rochester skyline, but would also change how the world viewed Rochester. At 16 floors and 295 feet it was the largest medical clinic in the world and tallest building in Minnesota when it opened in September of 1928.

In 1954, years after Dr. Henry, Dr. Will, and Dr. Charlie were gone, the 1928 building was officially renamed the Plummer Building.

History Center of Olmsted County

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


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