The base of the old Met Stadium flagpole. (The plaque refers to the "Flame of Freedom" and not the origin of the pole.)
Word came today from Ben McEvers, my contact at the Richfield American Legion, that the Twins have now made some formal moves to acquire the old Met Stadium flag pole which stands in front of their building.
As a review, Ben contacted me many years ago now to tell me the story of the flag pole. His buddies saw it still standing amid the rubble of Met Stadium, and asked the demolition guys if the Legion could have it. They were given permission as long as they did all of the work -- which they did. In fact, they found a company willing to volunteer to rehab the pole and get it installed properly.
If you've never seen it, it's huge! You can't miss it as you drive south on Portland Avenue between the crosstown and 66th Street (where a new traffic circle is currently being constructed).
When the Twins started soliciting ideas for the new ballpark, getting the flag pole was the first one I sent, and it was embraced immediately!
The message relayed to me today actually contained the team's plan for the pole: it will be installed where the plaza connects to First Avenue -- assuming that portion of the project eventually finds funding. Personally, I would have preferred it a little closer to the playing field, at least inside the main gate. But just knowing that I helped make it a part of the project is pretty gratifying. Ben and I have agreed to meet at the flagpole on opening day of 2010 to get some pictures.
(I know. There will come a day when no one remembers how the flag pole made its long trek from one classic ballpark to another. By my family's scrap book will contain the story. And that's something.)
More Recent Photos
I haven't exactly been holding out, but I just haven't found the right opportunity to post some pretty cool recent photos. Since I know how hungry everyone is out there for images, I'll try to get a few out per day.
These are the footings for the staircase which will connect the plaza to the skyway.
Up there is where I plan to buy a lot of hot dogs. You can see the vending areas developing rather quickly around the completed portion of the upper concourse.
Some brick work out in the centerfield pavilion.
Working on the connecting LRT tracks (this view looks up Fifth Street toward downtown.)
Some details are visible here, like the back of an escalator.
This is the HERC Premonade with railroad tracks snaking beneath. (I think this should be named the Halsey Hall Premonade. Seriously.)
You have to wonder just what happened here. Will it remain forever embedded in cement?
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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
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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.
7:52 PM It's nearing peak, and covering the stands behind third base.
No admittance -- yet! Note that you can see the seating bolts which are in place already.
At TF, you never know when you may bump into a Pohlad
Here you can see the real beauty of the Seventh Street side, and get a solid sense of why the overall design really works. The building's purpose is clearly visible, there are numerous connections from inside to outside, scale is nicely mitigated, the stone is attractively used, materials are pleasantly mixed and truly complementary. It's just a winner in so many ways.
Approach in the A ramp to the skywalk over Seventh
Here's a closer look at the bullpen area. It's hard to tell for sure, but I think there is still an opening to the concourse right above.
Looking up Seventh Street (click to see what it looked like from the same spot in 1950)
B ramp glimpse
Looking down Sixth Avenue toward the plaza
A Killebrew tribute covers part of the wall where the entry doors are located near the escalators.
Walkway construction is progressing
Wind veil install from across Seventh
North Loop Deli
The closed concession stand.
Roll-up metal doors visible at right.
Pile driving in progress
This is the LRT path looking from the ballpark site (behind me) toward downtown. The line currently ends about two blocks up this street. This bridge over I-394 is also being partially rebuilt as part of the ballpark project.
Snow-blowing the field
In the top of the 9th, the sun hit our backs and summer took one last long look.
Here we are waiting for the first train to arrive at the station (Nov 14).