Rochester is a city located in Olmsted County, Minnesota. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 85,806. Among Minnesota's five largest cities, Rochester is best known as the home of the Mayo Clinic medical center, which now has satellite clinics in a few other American cities. The clinic and IBM's Rochester campus are the two biggest private employers in the city. Rochester is the county seat of Olmsted County. The city is about 80 miles southeast of the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul.
The primary industries in Rochester are medical services, computer design and programming, light manufacturing (mostly computers and electronics), and a substantial hotel/motel and restaurant trade that serves visitors to the Mayo Clinic.
As in most American cities, the primary mode of transportation in Rochester and the surrounding area is the automobile. The city is served by three U.S. highways (U.S. 14, U.S. 52, and U.S. 63), and the southern edge of Rochester is skirted by Interstate 90. By air, the city is served by Rochester International Airport. A few freight railroad lines run through the city. A proposed upgrade of the tracks owned by the Dakota, Minnesota and Eastern Railroad has proven to be controversial.
Actress Lea Thompson was born in Rochester, and Frank B. Kellogg, who eventually became U.S. Secretary of State, had a law office in the city in the 19th century. Many famous people from around the world including former President Ronald Reagan and King Hussein of Jordan have visited the city to take advantage of the Mayo Clinic's services.
Many of the tallest buildings in Rochester are owned by Mayo. The Gonda Building is the tallest owned by the clinic, and it is attached to the cross-shaped Mayo Building. Architecturally, Mayo's Plummer Building is considered to be among the most significant in the city. 2004 saw a new winner in terms of height, Broadway Plaza, a largely residential structure. IBM Rochester is also a huge structure, spanning a mile across in the northern part of the city. It was initially designed by noted architect Eero Saarinen.
Rochester may also be home to the largest ear of corn in the world. Actually a water tower, it is next to the Libby Foods plant in the city (Libby's is now part of the food conglomerate ConAgra).
There is a large park system in Rochester, with more than 100 sites covering 5 square miles (13 kmē). There are 60 miles of paved trails and a few municipal golf facilities among other athletic facilities.
Rochester Community and Technical College is in the city. It is partially affiliated with the University of Minnesota.
Web Sites and Links
Bird's Eye View of the City of Rochester, Olmsted County, Minnesota 1869Full color perspective map, looking northwest. Streets are labeled, and points of interest are numbered. You can zoom in for a closer look.
Chateau TheatresDowntown. Currently playing and upcoming films, promotional and related information.
City of Rochester, MinnesotaOfficial City government web site. Resources on City agencies, ordinances, council meeting schedules, and other information.
Digital City: Rochester, MNYellow pages, area attractions.
Gabe HolmesSinger-songwriter offers his lyrics, audio samples, and performance schedule.
KTTC & Area SkyCamsThree outdoor webcams. One downtown refreshes every minute. Two views from the Mayo Clinic are not updated as often.
rHometown RochesterProduced by MLT Group, a local internet provider.
Rochester DirectExpress airport shuttle to and from the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP), serving the Mayo Clinic and downtown hotels. Online ticket purchase available.
Rochester Public LibraryInformation about the library, online catalog.
rochestermn.comRochester's community site devoted to organizations, businesses and information.