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Lens on History: Awash in hotel rooms

October 18, 2018 GMT

The Campbell Hotel stood at the corner of Second Avenue and Third Street Southwest. Built in 1920, it was part of the building boom surrounding the growth of Mayo Clinic.

In 1978, city officials unveiled plans for a parking ramp to be built along the west side of First Avenue Southwest, south of Third Street.

This prompted Campbell’s general manager, Jack Holt, to propose a $6.6 million expansion of the Campbell Hotel connecting to the ramp with a skyway.

When officials changed their minds, by suggesting the ramp be built on the east side of First Avenue, Holt countered with a 250-room hotel stretching from Second over to First Avenue.

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Rochester then scrapped the parking ramp fearing, they claimed, that the downtown would become awash with hotel rooms.

The Campbell Hotel was razed in 1999.

A few years later, a parking ramp was built on the west side of First Avenue.

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