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.)
As I write this, I'm reading first word that Torii has reached a deal with the LA Angels. He'll be playing in our new ballpark only as a visitor. *Sigh*
The other day I mentioned that the Downtown Journal ran a two-page spread (View as PDF) on some ballpark details. Regular readers here already know most of what was printed, but there were a few interesting new details.
- Windows on Seventh Street and the HERC side look into (or out of) the concession stand areas. This has great potential to brighten the interior and humanize the exterior (assuming you won't be looking at some hot dog vendor's ass).
- The mysterious triangle-shaped grassy knoll will be surrounded by wooden benches, and the frosted glass panel will "likely tell the story of Twins baseball." Do we agree that we're interested in a complete history of the franchise, and not just the Minnesota portion? I mean, Walter Johnson? Goose Goslin? Sam Rice? Heinie Manush? 1924 -- one of the greatest World Series wins ever? OK, there were some, ahem, lean decades. But, really...
- The plaza is slated to contain locust trees -- that is if they don't get cut out of the budget.
- Tinted windows will help reduce solar heat gain. This probably works toward LEED certification, but I have no idea how this is coming. Building "green" isn't just a good idea. It's an essential social responsibility. Let's hope this has remained a priority.
I meant to include this shot the other day. It's the new LRT bridge being built next to the remaining half of the Fifth Street bridge. The new half is almost TWICE the width of the portion torn down. And the other end runs right into a HERC administration building! (Click to see the view from nearly the same spot about 85 years ago.)
- Steam from HERC will play a role in heating some areas.
- The street lamp designs seen on the model and animation are just placeholders. Nothing has been decided there.
- A cistern is part of the design. It will capture rain water which will be later used to irrigate the field.
- Heating the seats again gets a mention. This continues to be on the radar, but I've heard nothing optimistic about this from people in the know. They may just be blowing smoke on this one.
- The canopy may have solar panels on top. Really great idea.
- Wood for the circulation ramp enclosures will be "reclaimed from local sources." In other words, don't throw away that old fence wood! The Twins may need it!
Then there's this gem:
"Scores will be posted on a champagne-colored scoreboard." You mean, like, baseball scores? Really?? Wow.
The Ballpark Authority web site has added a section dedicated to construction photos. Natalie Hunter, the photographer, got to walk around in the mud and get some close-ups of dirt and trucks and footings and such.
"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.
Branding on the plaza
Now from the inside looking at the same area.
Note that, even though the scoreboard appears strategically placed, it's the outfield stands which block any potential view of the field from this roof.
From the ground beneath the troubled skyway.
The view down Sixth Street toward the ballpark site. A pedestrian bridge will extend this street right into the main entrance of the park. The regrettable facade of Target Center is on the left. Butler Square is on the right. Click on the image to see what it looked like on this very spot about 100 years ago.
Wrigley Field viewed while approaching on foot from the northwest
Crosswalk taking shape.
A slightly different angle, and you can see some of the structural elements.
This is from inside the B ramp, where an entrance to the plaza will one day be
This view looks up Fifth Street toward downtown and shows how the LRT tracks sort of snuggle up to the ballpark.
Above the Carew gate
Photo by Jeff Ewer
Here's a closer look at the bullpen area. It's hard to tell for sure, but I think there is still an opening to the concourse right above.
From the Downtown Council's 2025 Plan, a Metrodome "Revelopment" and a strong indication of where they think a new Vikings stadium should go.
Installation in action (Home Plate Box)
The entrance at Gate 3.
Trees also have sprouted near the topiaries
Trains now rumble regularly beneath the promenade.
Mystery door on Seventh Street...
Gate 29 Carew (note the walkway above open to the street where you can shout down at your lost friends to tell them where to meet you)
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.
Hardware in the window! (But why are there three trophies? 1924?)
Click to enlarge greatly.
4th inning in the nearly deserted Home Run Porch View Level in left.