This rock, estimated to weigh 125 tons, was unearthed January 2, 1980, at the site of the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in downtown Minneapolis.
Having endured centuries of glacial action and wind and water erosion, the rock was set to be destroyed by explosives at the stadium site when the First National Bank of Minneapolis stepped in to preserve it as a landmark for the city of Plymouth.
The bank enlisted the aid of the Soo Line Railroad Company and a heavy-duty hauler to transport the rock from downtown Minneapolis to Plymouth. The two-day move, which coincided with the grand opening of the bank's Plymouth Office, was completed on March 3, 1980.
The granite boulder, composed primarily of potassium feldspar and quartz, is estimated to be approximately 1.8 billion years old and could be much older. It is similar to rocks found near St. Cloud, Minnesota, and may have been deposited in Minneapolis during the glacial activity of the ice age some 11,000 years ago. The size of the rock suggests it was part of a knob broken away from a low hill.
An alternate story, as reported in The Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome Souvenir Book, holds that they actually did try to blow it up, but it didn't work, and it would have cost too much money and taken too much time to keep trying until it was gone. Also, by then there was apparently some sort of public sympathy for the rock. (I suppose that makes sense, since this was the era which gave us the notorious pet rock.)
(Has anyone else ever noticed that the US Bank logo contains a stylized home plate?)
By unusual coincidence, that rock was originally situated almost on the exact spot where many of J. C. Romero's game-blowing wild pitches as a Twin would one day land... (Congrats to the Phillies and the former Twin -- who by some weird quirk of fate actually got the win in the deciding game 5.)
Here's a story which ran on Fox News at 10 after the conclusion of game 5 of the World Series. It's about weather issues, but has lots of great interior shots of the ballpark.
I have to admit that Citizens Bank Park looked completely awesome on TV. It has a unique seating bowl, which looks to contain a whole bunch of "neighborhoods" (as I imagine that ours will). Also, there was one shot and quick story about some area of the outfield seating which was built to evoke the old wildcat bleachers across the street from Shibe Park. That's a great idea -- I just hope they're cheap.
The upper decks did look to be pretty far up, and it made me wonder how that park's height compares to Target Field, but I haven't been able to find any info on that yet.
And here's an interesting story for those who skipped that last part of game 5. Did a statue of William Penn play a role in the long drought of championships in Philly? Read more about this supposed curse here.
Hmm, did Minneapolis build anything in 1992 that might be cursing our ability to win world championships...? (I'm open to alternate nominations.)
Finally, here are some stray shots from my twilight trip down to the site the other night.
A closer look at the grid on the Pro Shop.
The HERC promenade side.
A view from up (and in) the street.
This is also the promenade, where the first indications of the final texture of the walkway can be seen. This layer of concrete is going on top of gravel (as has been done over on the plaza).
Once again, Noah is holding his ears because of the traffic noise.
Actual LRT tracks are now in the street, and buses now pass over them before entering the transit hub.
Steel meets concrete, with the last rays of sun visible through the suite and concourse openings at left.
"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 3037 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
This appears to be the floor to the home dugout!
Also from the B ramp entrance off of Third, a look up at the tiny crack between ballpark and parking ramp
That warning sign doesn't mention anything about the potential for bludgeoning or limb removal by the revolving doors...
Looking back toward the ballpark from Third Avenue and Fifth Street. Again, the track configuration is now clearly visible.
Purple flowers above Second Avenue
A glimpse of the rather plain west facade (the side which faces the HERC plant).
Wright's Marin County Hall of Justice, San Rafael, California (1959)
A path for workers -- don't touch the plaza! -- in front of three giant Chia pets
Concept drawing for the fan/player appreciation wall. (Click to enlarge.)
(Click to enlarge.)
The Ballpark Authority at work (Source: RP)
Time to paint those supports Vikings-purple.
Thome steps in.
The right field foul pole seen against a backdrop of Butler Square (itself a site of great significance in the history of professional baseball in Minneapolis)
Viewed from an A ramp elevator lobby.
No arches. No brick. No girders. Classic.
That's part of the wind veil, waiting in the B ramp for installation
Wayfinding within the B ramp is still a work in progress.
This would have been the HERC side, though it's unclear just how far over the plant the retracted roof would have gone. My fear was always that they would have to shorten the track and more of the roof would have stayed over the ballpark. The only good retractable roof is one which disappears when not in use. I don't think they could have realistically created such a thing.
August 2001 (a month later we were engaged)
Work going on under the steel.
Larry DiVito takes a last check of everything before the game starts
Section 117, Row WC (applies to all the back rows under the Legends Club seating)
This design has a rather generic quality to it, but they appear to have considered the B garage. Though it isn't part of the model, they've clearly left room for it.
The Fifth Street side is pretty busy. There's a small street entrance to the B ramp, then ticket booths and an entrance gate, a rare exterior section not covered in limestone, the wooden screen covering the circulation ramps, the administration building, and finally (just out of view) the interface with Northstar. All of that sits behind the LRT action. How pedestrians will interact with this side of the park is a great mystery to me. You know that Metro Transit won't be letting them cross the tracks anywhere but at either end of the block...