Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Mayo Clinic Campus - Mayo/Charlton/Eisenberg Buildings Art

The Gonda Building from the previous post was built not just next to but adjoining the existing Mayo Clinic Building. Many floors of the two buildings are open to each other, making a seamless transition as you walk the corridors. On the street level, walking from Gonda into the Mayo Clinic side leads you past a museum of sorts, history of the clinic with a few artifacts. At the very end is this large and impressive tapestry by Zophia Butrymowicz of Poland.

The closeup shows the texture and detail - from a distance I wasn't sure what medium this was. But it sure was my colors so I moved in for that closer look.

A nearby wall is of marble that in and of itself is a work of art. This is just a small portion of it.

The Gonda is linked via skywalk and subway to the Charlton/Eisenberg building across the street. The Charlton is where Judi sees her physician and where the labs are for blood draws and infusions.

Doesn't sound like a very inviting place to go but again, the subway opens to an atrium with this wall fountain.  On street level there's a round pool/fountain that empties into a trough that then feeds the water to cascade down the face of this wall. The dark areas are where the water is running over the marble.

Another view, and sharp eyes will see a sign indicating the Eisenberg building. Just like over at the Gonda, two buildings have been merged with corridors between the two.  The Eisenberg houses Rochester Methodist Hospital where the transplant unit is.

Again, there is art, even in the hospital section. I was generally only going to the 9th floor to visit Judi the several times she's been admitted there, but one day the elevator door opened at the 3rd floor to reveal these tiles. They each are about 12 inches square, a design I was immediately drawn to.

While there wasn't a lot to see in the actual hospital units, the views out the windows caught my attention. All those angles and reflections - surely I can do something with that?

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Mayo Clinic Campus - Gonda Bldg Art

As we've gone to various appointments and procedures throughout the Mayo Clinic Campus, we have been amazed at how much art is on display on every floor of every building. The Gonda Building is 21 floors of diagnostic and treatment facilities, the glass facade letting in lots of light to show off the gallery-like corridors. (Details about construction can be found here.) On this side, the street level lobby overlooks the subway level where it juts out to form an atrium, performance area and outdoor seating area. It's not unusual to hear musicians and vocalists providing impromptu concerts for clinic visitors, the sound wafting throughout the two levels. This view is from the upper floors of the Kahler Grande.

Gracing the end of this area is this 28 foot sculpture, "Man and Freedom" by Croatioan artist Ivan Mestrovik. It was completed in 1954 and originally hung on this wall exposed to the elements before the addition of the Gonda Building. From the street level lobby you can get a very closeup look. See a view down the atrium here.

These Chihuly glass chandeliers grace the other side of the street level lobby.

There are multiple elevators - as you get off on each floor, a different piece of art installed in a glass case greets you. Mosaics, an Amish quilt, and this Uzbek textile are just some of the mediums represented.

Then as you move along the corridor, pedestals display beautiful works of glass like this one by Austrailan artist Klaus Moje.

The corridors also provide some quiet seating with a view. You might recognize the Plummer Building.

A view of the courtyard just outside the subway/street level atrium. Click on any picture for a larger view.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Rochester Subway Art

Subways in Rochester, MN? Yes, there are subways running under the downtown area, but the locals are quick to clarify to puzzled visitors that these are pedestrian subways - no trains to be found down there. The first subway dates back to the 1930's when the Kahler Grand decided to connect to the Mayo Clinic in a way that would keep patients and others from having to brave the elements going back and forth between appointments and sleeping accommodations. As the clinic grew, so did the subway system. It even has many retail shops along the way. There's also a skywalk system linking downtown hotels, parking ramps, clinic buildings and other places of interest. With Rochester's extremes in weather, this system is a real blessing. Yes, I've been using it every day to escape the heat and humidity. See a map showing subway in blue and skywalk in red here.

Every section looks a bit different depending on what building it may be running under. This section has several inviting alcoves like this one for those that may need to rest before reaching a destination.

And most sections of the subway system serve as art galleries. I walked by these animal screenprints many times before I realized they were by Andy Warhol.

This tells a little about them and the donor. Click on this or any picture for a larger view.

Don't know that the design in the rug was chosen with quilters in mind, but you can imagine we all think it was. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Temporary Accommodations in Rochester

Time to tell you a bit more about The Kahler Grand Hotel where we spent our first week. At one point the upper floors housed a hospital for soldiers returning from World War ll - not the first time that the hotel combined hospital beds and services for patients with hotel beds for family. Now the upper floors are penthouse suites with the top floor housing the pool, jacuzzi and exercise equipment. The greenhouse-like construction of this top floor gives a 360 degree view of Rochester and surrounding countryside. For Judi and me, that's not much of a view, as all we can think is, "It's so FLAT!" Yes, we are missing our mountains.

The building iss constructed in Tudor Gothic style. Once again, I cannot help but notice detailing that is purely decorative, although not nearly as elaborate as on the Plummer building. Although an older hotel, it is still nicely appointed, the staff is geared to provide extra service and care to the many Mayo Clinic patients that choose to stay there, and it's juxtaposition to the clinic buildings makes it incredibly convenient. Wheelchairs are readily available as are escorts (provided in conjunction with the clinic), and most appointments and procedures are held just across the street. The Kahler is also linked to the clinic buildings and other parts of downtown via skywalks and subways (more about the subways later).

This downtown core is almost always bustling with activity these warm summer months - music and other entertainment is provided at the end of the plaza, vendors are set up along the pedestrian mall, and the fountain at Peace Plaza is a draw to children who are so much fun to watch. Then there's Thursdays on First and Third every Thursday - 120 vendors along the blocked-off streets draws up to 20,000 people. Here Judi scores on a real fruit snocone.

We could often open our room window and hear the music or the carillon, or marvel at the buildings' reflections.

The downside for us would be the price (although patients do get a discount, free parking, ease in extending out your stay past original reservation and the convenience of being so close to the clinic - it really is a bit of a bargain), and because of the length of our stay, no access to a kitchen although we did have a little refrigerator and microwave. Some very good eateries are within walking distance - also expensive over the long-haul - but leftovers could be stored in that frig for a night when we didn't want to go out. Still, that gets old pretty fast. Above are a couple of delicious entrees eaten at Mac's and a more typical "dinner at the Kahler."

So eventually we found alternative temporary living quarters at The GuestHouse Int. about 10 minutes from the campus. Those with a sharp eye may see that the motel's restaurant is a Famous Dave's. On the few days we've been able to have our windows open, the room starts smelling of barbecue at about 10:30 a.m. - depending on your tastes, that may or may not be a good thing!

The view has changed but we now have a large room with kitchenette and still have access to a pool and jacuzzi. We're within a block of a large grocery store and drugstore and also have a small creek running adjacent to the motel property. There's a park across the street and a bike path that goes from one side of town to the other. And there is a nice grassy area behind the motel that has shade trees, a picnic table and lots of wild bunnies.

It was too hot and sticky on the Fourth of July to go anywhere to watch fireworks (this was in the midst of a heat wave with heat indexes up to 115 degrees) so we hoped we might be able to see something from our motel window. We actually had a pretty good view in spite of the billboard. Well, I guess it was apropos as the fireworks did cheer us up after an arduous day.

Computer Work Station - note my addition of an art quilt by Sherrie Spangler
Entertainment Center
Bedroom with bad motel art
First meal cooked here proved challenging!
I'd say we're situated pretty well for the moment. 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Mayo Clinic Campus - The Plummer Building

Amid the modern clinic buildings stands one of the original Mayo structures, the Plummer Building. When it was completed, it was the tallest building in Minnesota thanks to additional feet that had to be added to accommodate the bells of the magnificent carillon.

The main entry is flanked by these bronze doors featuring designs from medicine and mythology.

Above the door, more designs of mythical and allegorical themes.

And carved into the first two stories of the limestone are other designs related to medicine, America, Minnesota and Rochester. These are just a few of the many adorning the outside of the building. The one on the top right is of Dr. Plummer himself, who designed the building and was responsible for many of the innovations that made the model of group medical practice possible, including:
  • Multiple light systems
  • Telephone communications
  • In-house telegraphy
  • Cross-indexed patient records
  • A power plant
  • Subways
  • Pneumatic tube delivery system

I never cease to be amazed at the detail architects included on the outside of these buildings. This is one photogenic building. Click on any picture for a larger view.