Dear Answer Man, did you see the tall construction crane alongside the Plummer Building a few weeks ago? I know you pooh-poohed the idea recently that Mayo Clinic has taken out a demolition permit on the Plummer, but does this prove you wrong? Is that site about to become a surface parking lot?
Very funny. It proves me right, actually. Mayo is investing in TLC for the 88-year-old landmark.
According to spokeswoman Kelley Luckstein, "Mayo Clinic continuously reviews the maintenance of all Mayo-owned buildings to see if any areas need to be refurbished. Equipment was installed on the Plummer Building (a few weeks ago) to restore some terra cotta pieces that will be removed now and then reinstalled next summer."
The terra cotta elements are the froufrou that make the Plummer an exceptional building. The bell tower is nice at the top, and yes, those bronze doors are impressive, but otherwise it would be a fairly boring office building if it weren't for the terra cotta ornament that's sprinkled all over.
I'll repeat my advice from a few weeks ago, when a reader fretted about whether the World Famous had taken out a demo permit on the Plummer: Don't worry your pretty little head about it. There are other historic buildings in Rochester you should be worried about, though.
Dear Answer Man, a friend told me that she took a selfie this morning as she cast her ballot. Is this legal?
Shh, don't tell Abe Sauer -- he'll file a complaint.
Actually, it wouldn't matter if someone filed a complaint because it's perfectly legal in Minnesota. A little weird, perhaps, but lawmakers haven't gotten around to making a law against it. Those eager legal badgers in Wisconsin, however, have made it illegal, and at least 16 other states have done the same. It's legal in 19 states, according to the Associated Press, and the law is ambiguous in the rest.