Gift of Mayo Foundation House
On Sept. 23, 1938, Dr. and Mrs. William J. Mayo gave their home to Mayo Foundation. They were motivated to make this gift to establish a meeting place where people in medicine could exchange ideas for the "good of mankind." This gift fulfilled a dream the Mayos had when they first planned the house around 1915, and then built it between 1916 and 1918. The impressive home contained 47 rooms arranged on 2.5 levels and had a five-story tower. Its design was reminiscent of an English manor house.
Franklin H. Ellerbe, founder of Ellerbe & Company of St. Paul, Minn., was the architect. He worked closely with Mrs. Mayo, who directed the building project for the family. Dr. Will made one request -- that a tower be included, similar to the one in his parents' home that his mother had used to pursue her hobby of astronomy.
Over the years, Mayo Foundation House has been a prominent facility in Mayo's educational programs. It continues as a significant meeting and gathering site for educational activities and social functions that recognize outstanding achievements by Mayo Clinic staff. In 1975, the home was included in the National Register of Historic Places.