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The restoration of the water tower at Rochester's Plummer House has received a boost.

According to Rochester Minnesota's Parks and Recreation Department, a grant covering $383,650 (of the $785,000 cost of restoring the Plummer House water tower)  has been received from the Save America's Treasures grant program (through the Historic Preservation Fund, and administered by the National Park Service, Department of Interior).

The Plummer House, known as "Quarry Hill" to the family, was built by Dr. Henry Plummer, and his wife Daisy Berkman Plummer, between 1917 and 1924. It used to sit on 65 acres.

With five stories in all, it has 49 rooms 10 bathrooms (10!), 9 bedrooms, 1 ballroom, and 5 fireplaces. According to Wikipedia, that's 11,000 square feet of living space, for a total of 20,000 square feet including the basement, attached garage, and greenhouse.

Though he died in 1936, the doctor's wife and two children, Robert and Gertrude, stayed in the home until 1969.

Dr. Plummer was a physician, architect, tool and die maker, and inventor. He set up the record-keeping systems at Mayo Clinic, designed many of the buildings, and invented the pneumatic tube. The Plummer Building, formerly known as Mayo Clinic, was one of his buildings.

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Mayo Clinic Plummer Building was constructed in 1928. Photo circa 1932 (Minnesota Historical Society)

A creative person, the home shows off his abilities as much as his work for Mayo Clinic.

What Innovations Were Included In the Design of the Plummer House

Dr. Plummer worked with architects Ellerby and Round, to include these elements, which may seem common now, but they were new and exciting then.

  • Central vacuum system
  • Underground sprinkler system
  • Communication system
  • Dumbwaiter
  • Security system
  • Electrical and gas lighting
  • 2 passages going into the house and water tower.
  • Rochester's first gas furnace
  • Garage door openers
  • Heated pool
  • Water tower

According to a press release, "The Save America’s Treasures grant, the local tax levy, and referendum funding have made the water tower restoration project possible. Additional grant dollars are being sought to further support restoration and asset preservation work needing to be completed at the Plummer House."

As always, if you have a comment, complaint, or concern about something I wrote here, please let me know:

Would You Like To Be Neighbors (sort of) with the Plummer House?

Down the Hill fo Pills, a almost to 2nd Street SW, is a home for sale. IT's super affordable (if you compare size and location to other PH homes), at less than $600,000!

Pill Hill Home w/Tennis Court And the Pinkest Laundry Room You've Ever Seen

"Tucked into the hillside, the multi-level home has 7 bedrooms, including a main floor master suite and bedroom/office, 3 bathrooms, and a 2 car tuck-under garage. The home features two huge livings areas with fireplaces, including a family room with access to a spacious deck overlooking the tennis court." Plus one super pink laundry room.

At $575,000 it's a steal.

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