Finally, something interesting about our new ballpark site: it sits on top of a river!
OK, maybe 'river' is a strong word. It's actually Bassett Creek, and it runs directly beneath the Rapid Park lot. Maps differ on exactly where it flows, but all agree it goes through there somewhere on its way to the river.
Bassett Creek's original path (Source: Metropolitan Design Center)
Some history is in order. Bassett Creek begins at Medicine Lake, and is open to the air for most of its journey to the Mississippi River, including a large stretch which flows through Theodore Wirth Park.
In Minneapolis' early days, the creek flowed unchecked to the river, and this was a source of more or less constant problems as the area became more and more populated. Ultimately, it ran through heavily-populated residential areas. But it became something of an open sewer which had a tendency to flood easily and fill houses with all sorts of noxious debris.
Sometime early in the 20th century, a decision was made to divert the stream into a tunnel (actually two) so that the surrounding land could be developed. Ever since, the creek has continued to run and exit to the river through two culverts.
The north channel is the smaller of the two, and exits to the river just below the Plymouth Avenue bridge. This is the one which is actually visible to patrons of the Acme Comedy Club, located at 708 N 1st St. (There is a viewing area which actually looks down onto the running water!) It is also the channel which was brought back to the surface where it flows through the Sumner Fields rebuilding project.
Bassett Creek's path through the ballpark site (Source: Minneapolis Public Library)
The south channel is the main channel through which the bulk of the water still flows, and this is the channel beneath Rapid Park. How this complicates the building of a stadium is anybody's guess. I discovered it in one of the Urban Ballpark documents regarding the need for Environmental Impact Statements, so it must be well known to the people involved.
City Pages did a cover story history of the creek a few years ago when the Sumner Fields reconstruction began. They correctly note that people began to regret burying the creek almost as soon as the project was completed, and even today there are those who would love to see it returned to the surface where it would, no doubt, increase property values substantially.
How about a stream running past our outfield fence? Or maybe underneath the grandstand but visible through a glass floor. Far-fetched, perhaps, but just the type of amenity which could become a signature.
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This page was last modified on January 21, 2010.
"You talk about the magic, the aura, but what really makes a stadium is the fans. Concrete doesn't talk back to you. Chairs don't talk back to you. It's the people who are there, day in, day out, that makes the place magic."
– Bernie Williams
Explore the Site
Here are 50 images chosen randomly from the 3033 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
Here is where the signature art (original Twins logo) will be placed.
I would put on this face.
From the roof of the B ramp, you can see just how futile it will be to get a glimpse of the action.
Just up the foul line, it looks like the base of the wall in foul territory on the right side.
Just lighted panels... *sigh*
A collection of support pillars for the left field pavilion.
Just to the right, more ticket machines. These things are everywhere.
Lots of work has gone into detailing the fronts of these decks. That is a little thing, but a NICE little thing. (HRP View)
Bird's-eye view of the trees
End of the line.
Outside the Metropolitan Club, photos of all the other major league ballparks
A little more imaginative is the circulation building for Northstar.
The Lincoln Saltdogs (and a promotional Nerd)
A portrait of the 573 Club.
The outline of an infield has appeared on the asphalt in advance of the ground-breaking on Thursday night.
Greatest spot in the city for cooking up some hot dogs. And would you kill for that grill?
There must be millions of details needing tending
Section 101, Row 27
Train. (What is it about baseball and trains?)
The limestone theme is apparently carried to the area behind home plate. This will look great -- and distinctive -- on TV. But watch out for those foul balls!
Life in the shadows
Looking down Sixth Avenue toward the plaza
A closer look at the grid on the Pro Shop.
TCF Bank Stadium (click to enlarge)
Finished product (Field Terrace)
View from the batter's eye seats
A sharp-eyed reader caught me trying to make the best of a bad situation with my SP-570UZ on Sunday afternoon