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.
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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 3042 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
Target HQ main entrance. Ballpark resemblance? (Inset.)
The Metrodome hot dog vendor. (Source: RP)
This looks south and shows how the Northstar tracks are sheltered by the promenade above. This is the side which faces the HERC plant.
This is an angle I have not used very much, from the top of the Fifth Street ramp. Because the wall is so tall (forget about watching a game from here for free -- OK, maybe with a step stool) I have to hold the camera up over my head and just snap, hoping I get something good. Here I did. This view then looks to the southwest.
Special guests in the trees!
Here's a correction: The LRT platform will actually be able to load outbound trains from both sides.
Serious home dugout work in progress.
Here's where the plaza will empty out around that skyway emergency exit tower at the corner of Second Avenue and Seventh Street.
This view, from the Minnekahda building (or possibly a predecessor), looks toward the right field corner. The City Market, at left, occupied the land where the B ramp and Target Plaza now stand (over I-394). And the Overlook now juts out just a little beyond where that driveway enters the railyard.
This isn't a very good picture, but it is the current view of the inside of a suite.
Scoreboard in profile against the skyline
Life in the shadows
The ballpark development area expanded by 1000 feet in each direction
The Metropolitan Club (click to enlarge)
Playing surface dirt out there? Maybe. (click to enlarge)
The limestone now wraps around onto the HERC side.
LRT station has appeared.
Detail showing clubhouse and home dugout (click to see the entire drawing)
Target Plaza in model form
This is what it looked like during the first open house in March.
Up close, this is what you'll see as you walk along.
One more exterior view shows that, while the original look was attractive in a way, it seems to be a variation on the look of the Washington ballpark (albeit with a much more coherent collection of elements). What's remarkable is that the design team has refined the concept amazingly well, improving it immeasurably. What we're actually getting is clearly descended from this, but it's in a whole different league:
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).
Some brick work out in the centerfield pavilion.
An overview of the model display.
Supports viewed from beneath. These seats will be just a few feet from the outside edge of the building!
This mural is behind the staircase. The window looks onto the promenade, and the door goes to a kitchen.