Mayo Clinic to take over historic Mayowood Mansion

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(Photo by beautifulcataya posted under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license)

Members of the History Center of Olmsted County voted this week to authorize the transfer and ownership of Rochester’s historic Mayowood Mansion to the Mayo Clinic.

The Mayowood Mansion is the former home and estate of one of the Mayo Clinic co-founders and is considered one of the most endangered historic places in the state in 2011, according to Preservation Alliance of Minnesota.

As part of the deal, Mayo Clinic agreed to pay a total of $3 million in costs to restore the mansion. The historical society will keep all the personal property and continue to offer tours of the mansion.

The agreement stipulates the clinic first must pay $2 million toward renovations of the mansion before the transfer is finalized.

Dr. Charles H. Mayo built the Mayowood Estate in Rochester between 1911 and 1938.

The centerpiece of the estate is a 38-room mansion that was referred to as the “Big House” by the family. The estate also includes surrounding gardens.

In 1965, the Mayo family donated the home and ten acres to the Olmsted County Historical Society. Two years later, the state Legislature declared the historic Mayowood mansion a Minnesota Historic Site. In 1970, both the mansion and landscape were listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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