100 years: Knutson Construction helped build Rochester

The blueprints of Rochester's growth throughout the years feature Mayo Clinic and IBM buildings prominently.

Knutson Construction, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary, built many of those landmarks. Its Rochester office opened in 1997 and continues to construct some of the city's top projects.

While Knutson is based in the Twin Cities, it has been working in Rochester since it built the original IBM facility in 1956. Knutson built on the foundation of that first project and started working with the City of Rochester and Mayo Clinic.

in honor of the company's 100th anniversary, Knutson's Rochester office is hosting a celebration event tonight at the Mayowood Stone Barn.

Dave Bastyr, Knutson's general manager/vice president in Rochester, recently talked about his company's local history and work.


Q: While it is not based here, Knutson has built many of Rochester's top buildings. It all started with IBM. What are some of the other big projects it has done here?

A: Well, we built Mayo's Gonda Building, the City Hall part of the City-County Government Center, the Ronald McDonald House and Hope Lodge.

Last year we built the 11-story addition to Mary Brigh at St. Marys Hospital.

Q: And Knutson recently started moving dirt for Mayo Clinic's new Richard O. Jacobson Building. Arguably it is the biggest project underway right now, it will house its massive proton beam cancer treatment center in downtown Rochester.

Knutson is working with a construction firm from Providence, Rhode Island that has worked on many high-profile national projects, like the World War II Memorial in Washington D.C.

Tell me about this new Mayo project and this partnership.

A: It's 50/50 joint venture with Gilbane (Building Co.)

We partnered with Gilbane, because they have built two of these facilities.There are only nine proton beam centers now up and running in the U.S. So they've more experience with this than anybody out there.


We have a really good relationship with Mayo and a history of working with them. Together we're a really strong team.

This is a four-year project, so it is really a big deal.

Q: What some of the other things Knutson is working on this fall?

A: We recently broke ground on the new Mayo Employee Credit Union at Shoppes on Maine. We're working on the People's Co-op headquarters by Oronoco and the new MnDOT facility in Rochester.

In Austin, we're doing the big expansion of the Austin Medical Center.

Q: How many people work for Knutson in the Rochester area?

A: We have about 75 on staff now. Back at our peak, we had about 300 when we were building Gonda.

Q: You have a special reason from having your event at the Mayowood Stone Barn. What's that?


A: Mayowood is also celebrating its 100th anniversary, so it seemed a fitting place to celebrate ours.


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