Throwback Thursday: Big Blue blueprint in 1950s Rochester

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – In the mid-1950s, IBM was expanding and in search of a new plant site.

With a strong presence on the east and west coasts, where labor costs and labor unrest were high, IBM looked to the Midwest as an alternative.

As many as 80 cities were considered, but when narrowed down to the final two options, Madison, Wisconsin, or Rochester, Minnesota, Rochester won the day.

Planning for the new plant was well underway on November 14, 1956, when this photo from the History Center of Olmsted County was taken of electrical engineer Robert Morris and first general manager Charles Lawson reviewing blueprints at the site of the now iconic structure.

The 570,000 square foot facility opened in September of 1958.

Jacob Murphey

Jacob Murphey

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