Rochester's first "proper" city hall was built in 1884 at a cost of $25,000. It stood at the corner of 3rd St SW and 1st Ave SW. Once called "the most imposing building in the state", it was demolished in 1931 and replaced by a new city hall, which, though no longer used as a city hall, still stands on the same location. Next door to the right is the city's first power plant. It burned down in 1915. Ironically, the fire station had been next door to the power plant until moving into the newly-completed Central Fire Station in 1898.
The Rochester Waterworks was established in 1897. The building stood at 323 East College St (now 4th St SE), in the vicinity of the present-day SuperAmerica gas station. There is some evidence that the waterworks site was declared a Rochester "Old Town Site" in the early 1970s, but I haven't unearthed anything to corroborate it.
A note about the card: this photo is most likely from 1905-1907. It's printed on a divided-back card, which replaced address-only cards in 1907, yet the front retains the white space for writing a short message from the days when one wasn't allowed to write on the back. It was printed upside-down, too.
The grand Central Fire Station was erected in 1898 and for many years
marked the south end of Broadway. The "auto truck" out front is a
1912 American LaFrance pumper with chain-driven rear-wheel drive. It was
the Rochester Fire Department's first piece of motorized equipment. The
fire service would continue to be supplemented by horse-drawn wagons until
The clock in the tower was made by Seth Thomas and cost a mind-boggling $3,500. It was restored in the 1980s and can be seen still working today at the Civic Center.
The Olmsted County court house was built in 1866 at an expense of $32,000. The version shown here has the tower and statue of Lady Justice that replaced the original tower, which crashed through the roof during the tornado of Aug 21, 1883. The building was razed in 1966, but the statue is still on display in the current Government Center.
Incidentally, I work in an office that is right about where the front steps were.
Note that the colorist either neglected to color in the car, or was tired and didn't want to bother.
Rochester didn't have its own post office building until this one was built in 1912. Up to then, the post office had rented space in the Odd Fellows building at the other end of the block. In 1934, a much larger and grander post office was built kitty-corner from Central School. The old post office was torn down in 1938 and replaced by the 100 First Ave building, which is still there.
This fine building was built in 1934 and designed by Harold Crawford. Portions of its interior decor can still be seen at the Olmsted County History Center. Today, a Mayo patient parking ramp stands in its place.
The "red brick" library, as it came to be known, was built in 1898. It was sold in 1936 to raise money for the construction of the Mayo Civic Auditorium. The library was replaced in 1937 by a new library at the corner of 2nd St SW and 4th Ave SW, which today is the Mayo Medical School's Mitchell Student Center. Also in 1938, the next-door 1906 YMCA building was demolished. The library stood until 1948. In 1949, the ultra-modern First National Bank was erected on the site. Today, it is known as the 201 Building and houses Mayo Clinic offices.