Here's a quick idea which could be a nice thematic touch for the ballpark.
The old flour Gold Medal Flour Mill, located next to the new Guthrie theater (Source: RP)
From about the time of the Civil War until the mid-20th century, Minneapolis was the flour-milling capital of the world. It sounds a little dry, but the history of our city and much of the region derives from this fact.
You can find out more about this history down at the Mill City Museum, which is nestled among the ruins of that once-world-famous district.
Of course, mill architecture is also very distinctive, and in the years since flour milling waned from the local economy, many old buildings have been saved and put to new use. There is a very large complex located just off the northwest corner of Lake Calhoun (the Calhoun Isles condos) that is actually old grain elevators converted into housing. And other large portions of the riverfront ruins have been converted into luxury housing with unique spaces and spectacular views.
So why not incorporate some of this uniquely American architectural style into the ballpark? The photo at left was taken right next door to the new Guthrie Theater, and gives an idea of what elements could be worked in. For one thing, the round elevators could be echoed, perhaps as a tower of luxury suites somewhere down the left field line (not unlike the towers at Petco).
The tower could be made to open into the park on one side, and extend outside -- large enough to house the Twins offices on upper floors (so they can enjoy the skyline view) and even contain a unique restaurant or rooftop seating on the top floor. Tieing in to one of the team's goals, something like that could become a destination with or without a game to watch (but especially with).
For the top, the famous Grain Belt sign from Nicollet Island would make the perfect cap. Incorporating this amazing sign into the park has been suggested to me more times than I can count. I think it's a great idea because it is a direct tie-in to a major portion of local history. Plus it's very distincive, and in need of renovation before someone finally gets permission to dismantle it once and for all (which has nearly happened on multiple occasions).
The history of Minneapolis is in its mills, and this makes a perfectly appropriate architectural theme. In fact, it could become just the distinctive feature our new Twins ballpark needs!
"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
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Stepping inside the circulation building
Two signs visible from beyond the confines of the ballpark.
First, an overview. The base of the plaza here will meet the base of Sixth Street at Second Avenue.
This looks south and shows how the Northstar tracks are sheltered by the promenade above. This is the side which faces the HERC plant.
You write the caption...
Here's a curious little room at the end of the circulation ramp. What could they be selling there?
In the foreground you can see the supports for the plaza as it will meet the corner of North Seventh Street and Third Avenue North.
Marquette looking south
Perched welder on the top of the canopy.
Better them than me
Viewed from the A ramp.
Saturday afternoon, KMSP-HD 720P
The Metrodome is converted to its football configuration after the Twins game on August 29, 2002
The tower is actually finished, though it looks like a work in progress.
The base of the old Met Stadium flagpole. (The plaque refers to the "Flame of Freedom" and not the origin of the pole.)
This looks up Sixth Street from Hennepin. Just imagine what this will look like during a night game!
The canopy as viewed through the outfield stands. The lighting approach, despite what you may have heard, is actually very traditional.
From the Downtown Council's 2025 Plan, a Metrodome "Revelopment" and a strong indication of where they think a new Vikings stadium should go.
The walkway under construction in the parking lot just outside the loading dock.
On this day, George was handling fruits and veggies right inside gate 34.
Detail of Entry Plaza #4 (north entry from Fifth Street)
The tracks on the right will be moved to the newly-cleared area on the left. The edge of the ballpark will be about where the rocks and dirt meet.