In his autobiography, “Mayo: The Story of My Family and My Career,” Dr. Charles W. Mayo wrote about his rise to the chairmanship of the Mayo Properties Association and its plan to expand the clinic. The Plummer Building had been a model of contemporary design, but could no longer keep up with the increasing numbers of patients — 150,000 per year and more.

Dr. Mayo was in favor of stretching out, even overbuilding, with an eye toward future expansion. Original plans for a new Mayo Clinic called for a 10-story building to be built on the site of the old Central School on Second Street Southwest. Dr. Mayo insisted that it be planned so that additional floors could be added as needed.

According to Dr. Mayo’s book, the Board of Governors originally balked at the added expense, but were eventually persuaded.

Within 10 years of its completion, plans were in the works to add eight more floors to the Mayo Building.

“Lens on History” is a weekly photo feature by Lee Hilgendorf, a volunteer at the History Center of Olmsted County.

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