The second in a series of model photos. These feature the interaction of the ballpark with train tracks, and include some cool model trains! (Click on any image for a much larger version.)
This is a good overview of the spot where the Northstar (bottom) and LRT (top) will intersect.
This view looks up Fifth Street toward downtown and shows how the LRT tracks sort of snuggle up to the ballpark.
This looks south and shows the track configuration for Northstar. The platform shown is just a placeholder. To the best of my knowledge, concept drawings for this platform have not been released. Keep in mind, this is NOT part of the ballpark project. It is completely separate.
A little higher angle shows how the two stations are close to one another but distinctly separate. The oval, glass-enclosed area is the entrance from the Northstar platform below into the ballpark. The LRT platform is comparable to the other stations along that route.
This looks south and shows how the Northstar tracks are sheltered by the promenade above. This is the side which faces the HERC plant.
Now looking north, the tracks emerge from beneath Seventh Street as freight tracks only. The Northstar line ends at the northwest corner of the ballpark. One day, however, you can bet that other passenger trains will approach from the southwest metro on these tracks -- if our legislators are smart and persistent, that is.
I noticed this detail while taking the previous picture. I figure that it must be the VIP entrance from the surface parking lot. I don't think there is any parking inside the ballpark, so this entrance will likely be for suite-dwellers and other VIPs, though I can't say for sure whether players will enter here.
And, again, here are a couple of construction photos for context...
This is the LRT bridge under construction as viewed from the east looking west. The ballpark facade would be at the left in this photo.
This is the LRT path looking from the ballpark site (behind me) toward downtown. The line currently ends about two blocks up this street. This bridge over I-394 is also being partially rebuilt as part of the ballpark project.
In case you can't tell, I think trains like Northstar are a huge part of the future of transportation in this region and in this country. The goal is not to force people out of their cars, but simply make it possible. Why anyone would not want to do that is beyond me -- regardless of cost.
Let me take this moment to offer a few words about the Dan Patch corridor which would run from Northfield to downtown Minneapolis (ending at the ballpark site). A few years ago some looney legislators got a bill through the Legislature to ban all future work on this particular route. In fact, the wording is such that no one is even supposed to ever mention this corridor again. Why, you ask? Because they were convinced that if anyone even so much as whispered the name of this corridor again there would never be another dollar spent on a single road between here and there.
I said they were looney.
I mention it here to make sure that as many people as possible know that not only does this corridor exist in the early plans, but it would be a fantastic way to take some pressure off of I-35, I-494, Highway 169, Highway 100, I-394, Highway 7 -- I could go on.
And I'll even go so far as to predict here and now that this route will be built one day -- probably long after those particular legislators (who represented the very districts which would benefit most from this project), and maybe all of us, are long dead. And it will be built last of all the routes. And the people will be screaming for it as they see the success of the other routes which were not blackballed. And they won't care how much it costs, but it will cost 100 times the first estimates because of the delay. And they will rue the day that bill was passed into law.
OK, I'm a little bitter about legislators who stand boldly in the way of guaranteed progress.
My wife thinks I'm a little crazy, but I also believe that personal aircraft will be a big part of the future (some people agree), as well as those nifty Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) systems you may have seen demonstrated at the State Fair a couple of years ago.
I'm a little more skeptical of Minneapolis' streetcar dreams. I like the idea, but after reading Twin Cities By Trolley -- a wonderful book by the way -- I think people may romanticize trolleys a little too much. It sounds like they were sort of in the way once horses gave way to autos. That's something the city will have to solve before building these.
As you can tell, I love to dream about transportation in the future. And I can't tell you how pleased I am that our new ballpark will sit at such an important crossroads.
Tomorrow we'll look at another aspect to the ballpark that many people feel passionate about: the configuration of the main grandstand and the outfield stands.
"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.
The view from the Penn Ave entrance to 394 (and all the way into town! Click to enlarge)
To the left, out of view, was a row of guys in very nice suits. Most I did not recognize.
"Hey, Ma, it says here we go in at gate 34. Must be all the way around on the other side!" Seriously, though, this is a really inspired idea.
Name that ballpark
The pink thing is a mascot. (Actually, with a damn fine mascot actor underneath.)
Section 331, Row 9
The equivalent spot on the model.
The Metropolitan Club (click to enlarge)
The creative design of the admin building stands in stark contrast to the horribly pedestrian appearance of the LRT platform. This design looks like it came out of a public transportation manual.
Sunday afternoon, WFTC-HD 720P
Click to enlarge
Dan Kenney provided this alternate shot of a walkway behind the view level
The shade of the canopy gives way to a brief shaft of light. It would do the same again a short while later when the sun passed through that tiny open sliver between the View and Terrace levels.
I never think of Rod Carew as a first baseman. But he was.
As mentioned earlier, one of the best climate-controlled views of construction is from the 7th floor elevator lobby in the A ramp. (That's Noah getting his first glimpse of the new ballpark.)
September 23, 2007
Selling exactly what they say they're selling.
A classic profile on the horizon
Seating mound (seen from the B ramp)
Bassett Creek's path through the ballpark site (Source: Minneapolis Public Library)
You'll be able to park here for a quick stop at the Pro Shop or ticket window.
Click to enlarge greatly.
Desolate. Dirty. Mysterious. Expensive. Unlikely.
The proposed wooden screen covering the circulation ramp on Fifth Street (at left is the equivalent screen on Seventh Street).
Above the Carew gate
The finished product.
Here's an idea of what these Loge Boxes are all about. That guy is a waiter with no fans to serve. They seemed to have one server for about every four boxes.
Bassett Creek's original path (Source: Metropolitan Design Center)
Not sure what those supports are for -- probably stadia.