In the era awash in the dramatic Destination Medical Center predictions of historic growth, it's easy to forget that Mayo Clinic has been rapidly growing for many decades.

Rummaging through old newspaper clipping files this week, it was enlightening to read many splashy DMC-like headlines in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s over photos of downtown construction projects.

They offer some historical perspective.

• In 1966, the $14 million Methodist Hospital (I know it wasn't Mayo at that time, but it is part of the Rochester health care core) was under construction as eight floors were being added to the top of the Mayo Building. Mayo employed 3,400 people at that point. In 1967, Mayo Clinic became the top employer in Rochester surpassing IBM.

• In 1986, Mayo Clinic employed 8,129 in Rochester. It boasted of high-profile patients like Johnny Cash, Burt Reynolds, President Lyndon Johnson, Randolph Scott (who like to hang out at the Post-Bulletin office), Lee Marvin and Ernest Hemingway. The Scottsdale and Jacksonville campuses were gearing up to open within a couple of years.

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• In 1988, the clinic was constructing the $35 million Harold W. Siebens Medical Education Building on the site where the original 1914 red brick Mayo Clinic building once stood. A New York Times story detailed how the clinic had changed its culture to actively pursue money and growth. Mayo Medical Ventures formed in 1985. Here's an excerpt from the NYT article:

"'Marketing used to be a dirty word,' said Mark G. Brataas, the former head of the Medical Ventures division who retired recently after 37 often-frustrating years at Mayo


By comparison, the Cleveland Clinic markets itself aggressively."