Mayo is building again, but not on two high-profile sites
Despite Mayo Clinic resuming construction projects paused in the early days of the pandemic, two high-profile downtown spots – the former Lourdes High School building and the Traveler’s Hotel lot – remain mostly quiet.
While Mayo Clinic is resuming construction projects paused in the early days of the pandemic, two high-profile spots – the former Lourdes High School building and the Traveler’s Hotel lot – remain mostly quiet.
Mayo Clinic bought the 136,000-square-foot former high school at 621 W. Center St. for $5.8 million on June 27, 2013, from Lourdes Development Inc. The school moved to new digs on 19th Street Northwest earlier that year.
After seven years, the former Lourdes complex, parts of which date to 1941, still stands as empty as the day the school moved out, with no road map for its future.
“Mayo Clinic continues to maintain the former Lourdes High School building, but there are no immediate plans for the space,” Mayo Clinic’s Kelley Luckstein wrote last week.
That’s the same statement Mayo Clinic has used to respond to questions about the ex-Lourdes High School, since the purchase in 2013.
Meanwhile, there is some temporary action taking place on the empty left behind after Mayo Clinic tore down the rambling Travelers Hotel at 426 Second St. SW.
Mayo Clinic bought the hotel for $1.7 million in 2001. It kept the old hotel in operation until 2016. In 2019, it was demolished without any announced plans for its future.
That site is tucked into the block that is otherwise occupied by Mayo Clinic’s Baldwin Building and its parking ramp. It looks to be a good spot for another clinical building or for more parking, though Mayo Clinic has not released any plans like that yet.
Right now it is being used to park construction equipment for an “essential” project that did not stop for the pandemic.
“The lot of the former Traveler’s Hotel is being used as a construction staging site for the Franklin Heating Station construction project,” Luckstein wrote.
The steam boiler is being replaced at the Franklin Heating Station at 119 Third St. SW. The Franklin Station, built in 1928, is the combined heat and power provider for all of the downtown Mayo Clinic buildings.