Tuesday, November 1, 2011

NaNo Something Or Other, Entry 1.

It's November 1st and that means it's National (fill in your favorite form of writing) Month. I'm generally wary of these kind of "marathons," but as I'm toiling away at getting a writing project ready for primetime, I thought that this challenge might be a good way to keep the creative thoughts flowing and keep the words streaming from brain to keyboard and/or notebook. So in addition to the new levels of productivity on my non-fiction project, I'm also committing (wow, even typing that word makes me shift a little in my chair...) to a new post here--of some kind--each and every day during the month of November. No doubt some will be short on words and long on photographic content, but I hope that it will help reinforce the general writing habit.

With that in mind then, I'm going to start November with a little photo study of The 1927 Plummer Building, part of the Mayo Clinic campus in downtown Rochester. Dr. Henry Plummer was the local genius, a physician who designed the structure with the architects from Ellerbe and Company. I would doubt that there is an ornament or motif in this building that he didn't have a direct hand in. His interest in (and respect for) art, history, literature, and medicine can be seen in every corner of this building. It's beautifully constructed and while it's not used for patients any longer, it's an architectural gem with some wonderfully ornate and detailed interiors. Wandering around the exterior on a quiet weekend is a real pleasure. The giant bronze doors (16 feet high, 5 inches thick) have rarely been closed over the history of the Mayo Clinic, so when they close it's a historic occasion. They were closed after the assassination of JFK, after the 9/11 attacks, and if I'm not mistaken for the deaths of the Mayo brothers in 1939.

The upper floors and carillon

Astrology beside mythology on the building's facade

St George, mid-slay

The Canada Geese that (over) populate Rochester

Minnesota's state mascot...the humble gopher

There are little gophers hiding in many spots, here on the large, solid bronze doors

Interior door detail

The newer (1960s) Mayo Building reflected in Plummer's windows

Griffins on the entry doors

The beautiful lighting fixtures in the main lobby

What appears to be a caparisoned horse, used as a door handle

The 1927 Plummer Building reflected in the sleek glass
of the very recently built Gonda Building

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