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Answer Man: Mayo Clinic mural bites the dust, though parts survive

Dear Answer Man, do you know what happened to the lovely, big mural depicting the history of Saint Marys that used to be behind the main admissions desk? I know with the construction they had to move it, but I have asked several people what has happened to it, and no one can tell me. It's such a detailed, beautiful history of the hospital and the merging with Mayo and Methodist, that I can't believe they won't put it back up again. — Gail

Bad news, Gail — they won't put it back up again.

The mural was behind the main admissions desk in the Mary Brigh Building at Saint Marys. For as many times as I've passed through Mary Brigh, I can't attest to its loveliness, but I'll take Gail's word for it.

I checked with Mayo, and spokesman John Murphy said the mural was "re-purposed" to make way for the expanded admissions area.

"Re-purposed," in this case, means broken up, with bits and pieces used elsewhere.


"The mural became hard to see as the registration desk changed and privacy needs increased, and it was no longer prominent in the lobby," John said by email. "The timeline had not been updated since the Mary Brigh Building opened in 1980. So the story ended in 1980."

So the mural was photographed, then removed. Pieces of it, such as the portraits of the Franciscan sisters who built the hospital, are in the atrium and the Francis Building lobby displays.

Unfortunately, Mayo didn't have a pic to share of the painting in its former glory.

The fate of the mural seems ironic, in light of Mayo's current celebration of its 150th anniversary -- and don't get me started on that topic . Nonetheless, John says, "Preserving our history, telling the story of our founders and a focus on our legacy of innovation is important to who we are. We are happy our patients and visitors want to hear that story, which so reflects our values and has made us who we are today."

Because people like to hear happy endings, and that mural story doesn't have one, I'll tell you a short and unrelated tale.

A while back, a reader sent this note:

Oh, All Knowing Sage! I have a crystal wine glass that has a chip. Years ago, there was a gentleman in a shop in Mantorville, across the side street from the Hubbell House, that repaired glassware, but he is no longer there. In all your wisdom, do you know of another shop that would buff this chip out? My wine glass and I would be forever grateful! -- Chip Off the Crystal Gal

After a little hunting and pecking, I came up with a fellow in Plainview who offered to help, and this week I received this followup note from Chip Gal:


Just a follow up …. I did contact Bob P. from Plainview, and he has buffed the chip away. Very well done – appreciate your help on this.

The point is, you may think your crystal goblet is hopelessly damaged, but if you get the Answer Man involved, you never know what good things may happen.

Murals, however, are another matter.

Shutdown deals

But wait! There's more!

I promised a few days ago to run discounts and deals that area businesses are offering to help out federal employees affected by the shutdown. Here are two more, according to Jennifer Geier, of FMC:

The Wicked Moose bar and grill is offering a 10 percent discount on chow, and Breathe Yoga Studios is offering $15 yoga classes for $5.

Yoga sounds like a good way for people who are working full time and not getting paid to keep calm and carry on.


Now let's raise our glasses to the Answer Man! Send questions to P.O. Box 6118, Rochester, MN 55903 or answerman@postbulletin.com.

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