New Downtown Minneapolis Public Library (Source: RP)
If you haven't been to the new downtown library, find a time and just stroll in. Not only is it a magnificent building, but so much information is now at your fingertips which was locked away in the past, and it's very easy to navigate. What's more, the staff is absolutely amazing to work with.
I went in looking for old maps of downtown Minneapolis, specifically the warehouse district. When I said I was researching the ballpark site, the librarian immediately assumed I was referring to Athletic Park (which in the late 1800s was located on the block which currently contains Butler Square)! I explained that, no, I was interested in the new Twins ballpark site just two blocks away. She laughed and said, "Yes, I suppose that's more interesting now."
I should say that I love delving into Minneapolis history. It's been a hobby for many years, and I never miss an opportunity to find out new tidbits. I won't go into all the details of researching something like this, despite the fact that it's pretty easy if you have the time and patience. On this particular day, I did.
Ultimately, I was eased into an online map database which contains detailed insurance maps from various points in the last 150 years. That's where I found the next image (stadium location shaded blue). It is of the ballpark neighborhood in 1885, and it shows that the most of the area was lumber yards and railroad tracks.
At first, I thought this was essentially uninteresting. Then I looked again at the various names and the one business building located on the actual site (about where left field will likely be one day). It is listed as the Camp & Walker Planing Mill (see detail).
After a little further research, I realized that this was owned by none other than T. B. Walker, one of the very big names in Minneapolis history. He made a fortune in lumber, and was friend to many other big names like railroad tycoon James J. Hill. Walker's family ultimately founded many institutions in the Twin Cities which still bear their name, including the Walker Art Center. Here is Walker's bio from the Minnesota Historical Society which even includes a reference to his partnership with George A. Camp.
It's notable that very nearby was another locally famous name on the Lowry Elevator. Other businesses in the area included the North Star Lumber Company and the Fraser & Shepherd Sash, Door, and Blind Manufacturers. There are also two ponds interrupting 6th Street.
Just to the south (left of the image above) is a large undeveloped area which was not even mapped in 1889. Despite this, it's clear that our new playground will be built in an area that was a hub of commerce in the late 19th century.
"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 3042 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
Photo by Tyler Wycoff
The rough outlines of our urban trench. (North is up.)
Locations for ticket machines near the Hrbek outdoor plaza
4th inning in the thinning crowd of the Grandstand.
Selling exactly what they say they're selling.
Here is a close-up of those funny little islands of seats (HRP View).
Trampled, repaired, and re-trampled grass
Wrigley Field viewed while approaching on foot from the northwest
This is amazingly close to completed. It's a short tunnel entrance ramp to 394 underneath the outfield stands.
Here is one of the concept drawings referenced (but not shown) in the MPR story (conceptual ballpark at left, LRT tracks switched to the north half of the Fifth Street bridge, which is actually in all of the long-range plans).
Train. (What is it about baseball and trains?)
I don't know if the back side is also a test for materials, but it could be a hint of how the exposed steel supports will be finished. Or it could just be to hold up the stone.
Looking back toward downtown from the end of the balcony
The blue line now indicates where the back of the accessible seating ends and standing room begins.
(Click to enlarge.)
An arch under construction.
Plaza seating installation
That is pretty close... (Grandstand)
Mystery door on Seventh Street...
Snow-blowing the field
I finally found the corner of TF dedicated to the Senators. What a wonderful sight.
Click to enlarge.
Lower deck view of the out-of-town scoreboard.
That's Jacque Jones looking up in awe at the Great Greenness.
This is where the plaza meets First Avenue
This is a good overview of the spot where the Northstar (bottom) and LRT (top) will intersect.
Click to enlarge.
Chef stand and menu in the Carew atrium
7:42 PM It moves to the left in the image and begins to blossom.
Here's the current overview from the south side of the B ramp (from which the banner at the top of this page was culled).
Click to enlarge.
lign: left; font-size: .6em;">
Lots of work has gone into detailing the fronts of these decks. That is a little thing, but a NICE little thing. (HRP View)