Frigid Plaza Progress
February 12, 2008 2:39 AM
"It was a mighty fierce something cold out there today, let me tell ya!"
My great-grandmother might have said something like that. Her parents came over from Norway and were shipped all the way to South Dakota where they built a sod house and raised approximately 16 children (a few didn't make it, but I've never been completely clear on the math).
Days like today remind me of those hearty prairie people of my (and probably your) ancestry. What did they do when the temperature went so far down and the wind came so far up?
Did they put on heavy construction overalls, gloves and hard hats and continue building the ballpark? I just don't know. But a bunch of guys did today out behind Target Center. I walked across the 7th Street bridge to get a picture of the work going on over the tracks and nearly froze my nose. (Was it worth it?)
But the place was crawling with activity -- much of it taking place on the nascent plaza over the freeway.
A plaza is certainly starting to take shape.
But if you're confused by what it looks like now, join the club. Barring some unforeseen seismic activity that plaza is going to be a pretty hilly place. Or not. We probably don't have enough information. (Actually, read on and there's a partial answer in the model pictures below.)
Here's the detail of the plaza from the site plan published by the team last summer.
(Eagle-eyed Twinsfest goers would have noticed that updated diagrams were hanging in the ballpark booth. But I was so sure I'd be able to get them digitally that I didn't take any pictures of them. I won't make that mistake again because it hasn't worked out this time...)
I show this to give you an idea of where they might be going based on the early ideas of how it will connect to Second Avenue (assuming that it will not initially connect directly to First Avenue as was originally hoped).
At the intersection with Seventh Street, the plaza will wrap around the emergency exit stairs tower supporting that long skyway. It will replace the little sidewalk that is there now.
At the foot of Sixth Street (next to the B ramp), the plaza will go over the entrance to the B ramp then duck under the skyway, presumably arriving at the level where a sidewalk would be if there were one there now (it's been a lane of the exit ramp until now). It seems like steps may be required there, but I don't think that's in the plan. Here's a look at that area (the covered piers at left will support the plaza):
You can see in the diagram that there's an indication of a connection to the skyway, and I heard that they still plan to build some sort of staircase connecting the plaza to the B ramp, but I'm not sure exactly where. This is a pretty old drawing, so we can only learn so much from it.
Now to the model... As was pointed out below, the plaza on the model is completely flat. Or is it? Look closely here and you will see steps:
The main ticketing area beneath the restaurant.
In fact, it looks like the model does reflect a slope down, with some stone accents to delineate it for pedestrians. What other details have we all missed...? (Click any image to enlarge dramatically.)
First, an overview. The base of the plaza here will meet the base of Sixth Street at Second Avenue.
A skyway-level view down Seventh Street.
A look at Gate 34.
Banners on the parking ramp are a great touch. They help manage scale and turn a lemon into lemonade. On my way there today I passed the WCCO building and remembered how the Twins schedule used to be painted in giant form on the side of that building (which is no longer visible). Wouldn't that be a great thing to resurrect on the side of that ramp? A giant Twins schedule. I always thought that was cool.
Also warming things up are these planters.
They help create a psychological safe area along the plaza edge, and help you forget that cars are zipping by directly beneath you.
The Pro Shop.
One thing that the design disguises nicely is that the Pro Shop (and other key components) are actually built over lanes of freeway. That can clearly be seen here.
This area will supposedly show the Twins chronology. Will it stretch back to 1901?
The entrance at Gate 3.
Special guests in the trees!
Finally, I realized as I took this shot that you can actually now see concourse floor that we will all walk on one day on the way to or from a game. Imagine that.
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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 3046 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
Franchise history before Minnesota. (Click to enlarge.)
Legends Club seats feature in-seat service
This opportunity is half a block up Third Avenue and thousands of people walk right by before and after games.
An early concept for St. Paul.
At the base of the B ramp, the foundation for the center field stands.
This is the upper deck in Anaheim
This is as close as I could get to a pedestrian-eye view of the main entrance. This is what you'll see as you enter by coming down Sixth Street.
A few weeks ago there were sand volleyball courts here. When the park opens, this will be surface parking. Maybe one day there will be something more interesting built on top of that parking...
More of a bird's-eye view of the same area.
Such promise. (Click to enlarge.)
The view down Sixth Street toward the ballpark site. A pedestrian bridge will extend this street right into the main entrance of the park. The regrettable facade of Target Center is on the left. Butler Square is on the right. Click on the image to see what it looked like on this very spot about 100 years ago.
Stairs down to the sidewalk from the skywalk over Seventh
Beams connecting the plaza to the Target Center walkway
A distinct misstep, ostensibly to guard against missteps. But methinks I smell a lawyer...
From the roof of the Minnekahda building (courtesy Bruce Lambrecht).
I love these upper neighborhoods.
The splendid view from the roof of the Minikahda building. (Click to enlarge greatly.)
OK, it doesn't really look like that at all...
The same section seen from Target Center. Yep, looks like bridge supports.
And another angle looking at the overhang area of the right field pavilion. This looks to me like a great area to watch a game.
I will take a picture of just about anything.
Actual LRT tracks are now in the street, and buses now pass over them before entering the transit hub.
This is a good overview of the spot where the Northstar (bottom) and LRT (top) will intersect.
The glass area seen here is one of the warm-up areas.
Work in progress.
Complicated pedestrian crossing
The circulation ramp on Fifth Street is shaping up very quickly.
Section 125, Row 1
This is a little section of what looks like a finished foundation. It will be approximately below the Pro Shop (I think).
BPM - Ballpark Magic
BRT - Bus Rapid Transit
DSP - Dave St. Peter
FSE - Full Season Equivalent
FYS - Fake Yankee Stadium (see also: NYS)
HERC - Hennepin Energy Resource Company (aka the Garbage Burner)
HPB - Home Plate Box
HRP - Home Run Porch
LC - Legends Club
LRT - Light Rail Transit
MBA - Minnesota Ballpark Authority (will own Target Field)
MOA - Mall of America
MSFC - Minnesota Sports Facilities Commission (owns the Metrodome)
NYS - New Yankee Stadium
SRO - Standing Room Only
STH - Season Ticket Holder
TCFBS - TCF Bank Stadium
TF - Target Field
Selected Bibliography - Analysis
First Edition (1992)
Second Edition (2006)
Selected Bibliography - Surveys
Second Edition (1987)
Not a "Third Edition" exactly,
but it replaced the above title
(2000, large coffee table)
Original edition (2000, round)
Revised edition (2006, round)
(2001, medium coffee table)
(2002, small coffee table)
(2003, medium coffee table)
(2004, very large coffee table)
(2006, very large coffee table)
Combines the previous two titles
(2007, medium coffee table)
Selected Bibliography - Nostalgia
Book and six ballpark miniatures