Rochester Minnesota is world-renown as a place of healing. The Mayo Clinic, as the state’s largest employer attracts visitors from around the globe. However, the city’s waterfront as one of six Destination Medical Center sub-districts leaves much to be desired. Bike paths follow the course of the Zumbro River, but a channelized condition blocks views and inhibits connections between the downtown and the water’s edge.
Buildings have many lives, and while uses change a building’s form can endure. A series of redevelopment alternatives were explored for two Depression-era buildings along the riverfront, including their implications for adaptive reuse. There was a strong community preference for the inclusion of space in the plan for local entrepreneurs, artisans and makers which suggests adaptively reusing the buildings for contemporary needs as opposed to wholesale demolition.