So Long, January!
February 1, 2009 12:42 AM
Forty-eight beautiful degrees. Sunshine worthy of sunscreen. You may not believe this, but the air down by the ballpark actually smelled of cotton candy this afternoon (there may have been something going on at that nearby basketball arena).
Strolling around without a care (or gloves), I snapped a few new pictures.
This gate opens onto Seventh Street from the circulation ramps, but it appears to actually be an entrance gate, rather than an exit gate. It has something of a Bat Cave feel about it because it's not a gate proper, but an area of louvers that will swing in, virtually disappearing when closed...
Looking through it, you can see the outfield pavilion (upper deck at least).
Glass going in over the Oliva gate.
A truck is leaving the HERC plant. Here you can see the proximity to the promenade. For the record, the truck drove right by me and I smelled nothing...
Trains now rumble regularly beneath the promenade.
Looking through the Oliva gate, you can see the outfield stands.
Here's another look at the Oliva gate.
At one point, we thought these windows might represent one of the so-called knotholes. But nope. Nothing to see here. (Nearest I can tell, there will be no view of the playing field whatsoever from the Seventh Street sidewalk.)
Wow! Looking good.
More new pix tomorrow!
I had to be away for awhile to finish a very large project for a key client. But I was thinking, "Hey, it's January. Nothing ever happens in January."
Thanks to everybody who kept the discussion going and brought a myriad of new tidbits from TwinsFest.
I will get to those over the next couple of days. But first, we need to take a look at the renderings for the new Marlins ballpark:
Whew! That sure stinks!
It combines an ugly roof with long, boxy tracks, then adds the familiar curviness of those old concrete donuts (one of which is being demolished even as you read this -- RIP Shea; RFK: You're on borrowed time).
Frankly, this design looks to me like an updated version of the Carousel of Progress at Disneyland!
There's a great, big, beautiful tomorrow! (I loved this place as a kid.)
Don't get me wrong. They certainly do need a roof down there in ways that we don't. But it doesn't have to be ugly. OK, maybe it does have to be ugly (because there's really no such thing as an attractive roof over a baseball field), but it doesn't have to be that intrusively, aggressively, unimaginatively ugly.
And why would you build an oval within a gigantic square site? I'm not saying that it has to look like anything specific, but it surely should acknowledge its surroundings.
Look familiar? Unfortunately, just adding little balconies with cool angles will not offset the pervading ugliness.
I keep asking myself: What could account for the utter lack of taste in such a design, when it comes from the same group that designed Target Field?
There's only one answer: the collaborators. Whoever is working on this from within the Marlins needs to be reassigned right away. I'd love to go down there and help them avoid making the second-biggest mistake in franchise history.
For Further Study
Lots of folks have been offering up their pictures. Here are a few fan collections:
And there are updates among the official collections as well:
Twins Official Ballpark Page
Finally, here's a blast from the past:
Sometime in the late 1980s: B ramp is under construction. Not yet built: Target Center, I-394 and the A ramp.
Compare it to this one that I took last March from close to the same spot:
And note how much progress has been made just in the last 10 months!
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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 3045 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
Life in the shadows
The outline of an infield has appeared on the asphalt in advance of the ground-breaking on Thursday night.
The action drew everybody to the top step. (Click to enlarge greatly.)
I'm not sure why there's a wreath on Gate 3. (I quickly checked the headlines for any dreaded Killebrew news. Whew.) It looks to be in celebration, maybe of the move.
Opening Day 2008 (By Currier & Ives)
The Pro Shop.
Not me, but it might as well be.
Plaza seating installation
The steel cage expands.
Photo by Jared Wieseler
A view straight on of the Pro Shop area and ticket windows (just barely visible). The piers you see beneath the plaza are already almost completed (see final photo).
The ballpark development area expanded by 1000 feet in each direction
Staircase entrance. You cannot miss them.
The first completed mural
No griping here.
A skyway-level view down Seventh Street.
This is what passes for imagination at Miller Park -- they didn't even get the shape right! (Source: LP)
Building the canopy is a spectacular sight.
Looking up Seventh Street (click to see what it looked like from the same spot in 1950)
His body language might as well be the box score.
LRT at the ballpark
Here's one big problem with a retractable roof: completely terrible seating in left. These scant few seats would have been tucked under the track. No sunshine, no open concourse, it was a terribly kludgy idea. With some hindsight, it's very clear that adding a retractable roof on this small site would have required compromises which would have just been too extensive to tolerate. Without it, the design was free to grow into something much more memorable.
Flagpole historian Ben McEvers at far right (click for the full photo set, graciously loaned to this site by Pat Backen)
This is the Metropolitan Club as viewed from the future Ballpark Authority office space.
Delmon Young getting warmed up
They help create a psychological safe area along the plaza edge, and help you forget that cars are zipping by directly beneath you.
Here is one of the concept drawings referenced (but not shown) in the MPR story (conceptual ballpark at left, LRT tracks switched to the north half of the Fifth Street bridge, which is actually in all of the long-range plans).
Photo by Tyler Wycoff
Not sure what those supports are for -- probably stadia.
Viewed from another angle, you can see that the bullpens now sit beneath the upper deck outfield seating.
Open house skeptics
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