At the risk of swinging from one extreme to the other, hear are a few additional images -- of a very different sort -- which I took during my recent glamour shot tours. All of these were taken within three blocks of Target Field.
Lest you think I stacked the deck, these are all separate establishments -- not just a collection of unflattering pictures of a single place. And other than the tire pile, I didn't have to peak through any gates. The vacant lot is over on Royalston, but the rest are up Fifth Street (if you go straight instead of following the bend toward the freeway).
While traveling in this area, for the first time ever I did smell the rancid scent of garbage, but it was definitely not coming from the HERC. No, it was coming from the Tubbs company, which appears to be cleaning dumpsters there. Whew!
Technically, this must be viewed as Opportunityville. But opportunities sometimes need to be helped along. All of these businesses have been there since long before Target Field was even a gleam in a real estate dreamer's eye, so it's hard to be too harsh on the area.
But even so, the City of Minneapolis should really be embarrassed by having this stuff so close to downtown, especially when the neighborhood has now been officially tagged for redevelopment for over three years.
The degree to which the area is rehabilitated will be one of the barometers by which you can measure the impact of Target Field in the neighborhood. Five years from now, this better be an area of restaurants with outdoor decks, perhaps with quirky residential space above (take as a model the area over by the old Guthrie Lab space and Acme Comedy).
Here are a couple of images I also got over on Royalston.
This one gives a good overview of the bike path issue. You can see that the current path veers off at the far right of the picture to continue onto the city streets. Hardly ideal, of course. The new path, toward the river, parallel to the tracks, headed into a tunnel beneath the promenade, is already staked off. But you can't ride on stakes.
Hennepin County, the Ballpark Authority, the team, and even the Federal Government have bent over backwards to make this path extension become a reality, and to integrate accomodations for bike riders into the project.
Let's see. Which stakeholder in the ballpark project did I leave out of that list...?
The strident bicyclists need to be very careful who they accuse of causing delays. Nobody would have had to do anything to accommodate them in this project (despite their overall noisiness), but almost everyone has really stepped up on their behalf. A little gratitude would be in order.
And those stupid signs that have been posted all around the neighborhood really bug me. What they say is simply not true. These people need to get their facts straight before trying to raise a stink over something which doesn't, in reality, actually stink.
You may ask: How hard is it to lay down a ten-foot wide asphalt path? The wheels of government move slowly sometimes, my friends.
Now, about those tracks:
While they were moving those tracks, and now that they've been covered by the promenade (perhaps one day known as the Halsey Hall Memorial Promenade), the scope the the work has always been hard to comprehend. Above is a little taste of what actually was accomplished. Very complicated. Very cool.
Next, a louvre-installation-in-progress shot.
Finally, two links really worth following.
Sports Illustrated got a couple of helicopter shots (regrettably small) and took a tour with DSP. It's always interesting to get an idea of how this ballpark is going to look to folks outside the Twin Cities. Good, I think, is the early indication.
Two DSP quotes to pull out:
"Rain, we can handle that," he said. "It's more an issue of climate. But we're getting soft in Minnesota. I expect to get as many fans complaining about the heat, missing the air conditioning in the Dome, as I do the cold.
"It was never our intent to build a 'retro' ballpark. We're building a much more modern ballpark with 'classic' features."
That last sentiment is all I ever hoped for when I started this web site.
I've always thought that "retro" was an insult to true fans of baseball. Stick your retro in a time capsule, bud (or should I say "Bud"). You can't fool me into believing that a park has been there for 100 years. It hasn't. Get over it.
That's one of the major triumphs of Target Field's design: It does not pretend about anything. If nothing else, it's honest. (Which is more than I could say about some other recent ballparks I could name.)
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).
It is a likely addition to the Target Field neighborhood sometime in the (relatively) near future -- within most of our lifetimes, at least.
That's all for tonight, friends. I leave you with a couple more glamour shots, one of which is technically a rerun from yesterday, but with a strategic addition by "some guy".
See you tomorrow night, with a look at TCF Bank Stadium.
"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.
Solution for a hot night, just inside Gate 34 (that's a cool mist, by the way, not hot steam, which would be kind of cruel)
From the TV camera platform -- the view you'll see on TV
Good seats, but no scoreboard or sky.
A close-up of the rooftop party deck.
Banners on the parking ramp are a great touch. They help manage scale and turn a lemon into lemonade. On my way there today I passed the WCCO building and remembered how the Twins schedule used to be painted in giant form on the side of that building (which is no longer visible). Wouldn't that be a great thing to resurrect on the side of that ramp? A giant Twins schedule. I always thought that was cool.
They can put a camera just about anywhere. (Photo by Jeff Ewer)
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.
Someone please get those poor people a drink of water. (Gate 34, after the game had started)
For those who have never seen it up close, that's what it looks like when steam comes out of the HERC plant.
Stairs down to the sidewalk from the skywalk over Seventh
The reverse angle shows that the signage will only partially obscure views from the top of the ramp. The wall is pretty high up there, so you'll need something to stand on, but it appears that this is one of the so-called "knotholes".
The right field foul pole seen against a backdrop of Butler Square (itself a site of great significance in the history of professional baseball in Minneapolis)
The lot within the lot.
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.
This is what it looked like during the first open house in March.
Life in the shadows
Plaza extension reaches toward First Avenue
Trampled, repaired, and re-trampled grass
Nathan greeting the other pitchers on the all-Metrodome team (October 4, 2009)
The renderings and concept model differ here. MOJO thinks this is the perfect place for a party deck. Dave St. Peter seemed to agree!
Bag checking at Ball Park Lanes was incredibly simple, as was the pick up later. The line was short and fast-moving.
Greatest spot in the city for cooking up some hot dogs. And would you kill for that grill?
Perhaps these very bold, Hitchcockian birds picking at left-over popcorn and peanuts were portents of what was to come.
Click to see the full-size image.
Scoreboard as viewed from Fifth Street.
We took refuge for a time in the Twins Pub where you can drink a beer (or just hang out) and listen to some ballpark tunes. The organ is decorated with a TC (of course) and what looked like drawings which Sue has received from kids.
The entry from the platform to the ballpark.
Spring of 1982 (click to enlarge greatly -- can you pick out Kent Hrbek?)