Thursday, June 30, 2011

Volunteering for fun work stuff

One of my co-workers was going off on vacation for a week or so and needed help covering a couple of her projects, so I volunteered. Now, don't go thinking I'm noble and nice or anything (because we know better than that!), but the assignment screamed fun to me, so I raised my hand so quickly I think I created a sonic boom.

The project was a video production that had a couple of shoots happening during her time off, but the shoot scheduled for a Sunday afternoon was my motivating factor. The producer and videographer wanted to get up to the top of the Plummer Building to shoot b-roll of the Mayo Clinic campus and the surrounding area. Besides being an amazingly beautiful 1928 wonder, the top of the Plummer Building also houses the Mayo Clinic carillon. And there was a carillon concert that day!
One of the 56 bells
If you look closely at the picture of the upper part of the Plummer Building (top right photo), the carillon is housed in the top part with the long "windows" (that aren't really windows as much as they are openings for the sound to go out). 

We didn't stay up on the deck for the concert as we didn't bring our earplugs. Jeff, the carillon player, is actually right next to the bells, but in a glass-enclosed booth. (Check out the YouTube video all about the carillon)

Nice photo of Old Glory without a telephoto lens
Besides having the opportunity to see the bells and the carillon up close, I was able to go out on the walkway that surrounds the tower. By sheer chance, I had my camera with me and captured some fun shots.

This used to be the Rochester Library, now it's the Mayo Medical School
The walkway around the building
You don't really have a view of NW Rochester since the beautiful Gonda building blocks your sight line
Looking directly down to the Children's Fountain below
Minnesota doesn't have scary gargoyles; we're too nice for that

If you're ever in Rochester, be sure to visit the Plummer Building. You might not be able to visit the top of the building, but the architecture is splendiferous. (used the thesaurus)

Technically, the doors are always open, although you can't always get in. The picture to the right is one of the massive doors to the Plummer Building that have only been closed a few times in the building's history. The last time was September 11, 2001.

The building also has a couple of historical suites you can visit that tell not only the story of the Mayo Clinic, but of the amazing doctor who helped to design the building. (Yes, Dr. Henry Plummer - one of the founding doctors - helped to design the building that bears his name.)

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