May 1972: Mayo Announces Laboratory Building Program #throwbackthursdays

In May 1972, Mayo Clinic announced a plan to add two laboratory buildings to its campus as a response to pressures of growth experienced in the previous two decades. The plan, which was projected for another ten plus years, included:

  • Construction on two laboratory buildings
  • Estimated cost of about $25 million
  • Location block south of Mayo Building
  • Life Sciences Building for research and education, fronting Third Avenue at nine stories and a subway level
  • Laboratory Medicine Building, fronting Second Street, at five stories. It would house patient-related diagnostic laboratories
  • Projected completion date of late 1974
One possible arrangement of the two new laboratory buildings is shown in the "massing study" above. Looking east from vicinity of Harwick Building are (A) Life Sciences Building; (B) Laboratory Medicine Building; (C) Rochester Public Library, to be used when vacated by Mayo Medical School; (D) Mayo Building; (E) Plummer Building. The Laboratory Medicine Building fronts the south entrance of Mayo Building.

Dr. W. E. Mayberry, Chairman of the Department of Laboratory Medicine in 1972, called the new Laboratory Medicine Building “the first structure at Mayo specifically designed to house clinical laboratory functions. It will provide a total, organized effort to do clinical laboratory procedures efficiently and accurately, with timely reporting of test results to the responsible physician.”

The Life Sciences Building, stated Dr. R. A. Theye, Chairman of the Department of Anesthesiology and Chairman of the Laboratory Planning Committee in 1972, “ is intended to accommodate the expanding needs of Mayo for research and education, including needs related to the curriculum requirement of Mayo Medical School.” The building would provide facilities for Biochemistry, Endocrine Research, Microbiology and Immunology, Pharmacology, Physiology and Biophysics. It would also provide lecture rooms, study areas, laboratory space and administration offices for the Division of Education.

According to the plan, an underground concourse walkway was designed to connect the two new buildings with Mayo, Plummer, Harwick and Medical Sciences buildings. The concourse leading south from Mayo was intended to bring patients into an enclosed mall-type courtyard which served as a common lobby for both Laboratory Medicine and Life Sciences buildings.

Kelley Luedke

Kelley Luedke

Kelley Luedke is a Marketing Channel Manager at Mayo Clinic Laboratories. She is the principle editor and writer of Insights and leads social media and direct marketing strategy. Kelley has worked at Mayo Clinic since 2013. Outside of work, you can find Kelley running, traveling, playing with her kitty, and exploring new foods.