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 3042 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
Circulation building with construction team on top
Close-up on the diagram of the Club Level with finishing materials (click to enlarge)
Site plan for the new Nationals ballpark, with the size of the Rapid Park site overlaid
Fencing is going up all along the plaza
Chef stand and menu in the Carew atrium
In March, we were still only imagining baseball through those windows.
The view from my seats in Section 237 (The Trap), Row 1 (can't see much of center field without standing up...)
A familiar view through the top floor elevator lobby window in ramp B (HRP View and Terrace).
Nearby, workers are finishing a support column. The guy at the bottom is using some sort of personal dirt mover (inset). Very cool.
Name that band. Please. (Mick Sterling)
Spring of 1982 (click to enlarge greatly -- can you pick out Kent Hrbek?)
Loading docks to the right, VIP entrances to the left.
This is during halftime.
The art panels on the Fifth Street facade as viewed from the top of the Minnekahda building.
Handshakes all around (there's gonna be a lot of that over the next few weeks)
Purple flowers above Second Avenue
Concourse ceilings (from the Ballpark Authority's May update)
A mural featuring the names of a bunch of Minnesota towns.
Here's where the plaza will empty out around that skyway emergency exit tower at the corner of Second Avenue and Seventh Street.
Time to paint those supports Vikings-purple.
This view looks through the opening in the fence where the crosswalk will be.
For executive entertaining
The scoreboard terminates the view on Fifth Street as seen from Hennepin
Large staircases, a staple of recent Populous (nee HOK) projects, are all over the place.
The Ballpark Authority at work (Source: RP)
Now from the inside looking at the same area.
Ballpark elevation diagram, viewed from Fifth Street. (Click to enlarge.)
Section 139, Row 8
From the best seat in the house (Section 8, Row A), the right field corner is blocked. (No one may care. Fine with me. People should know.)
TC gets ready to release the hounds. (Kids get to run the bases after Sunday games.)
Working on the main concourse right about directly behind the plate.
This is some of the signage in place for concession stands.