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 3004 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
A slightly different angle, and you can see some of the structural elements.
The former Ford manufacturing plant (now Ford Centre).
Instrument of evil.
The equivalent spot on the model.
Fencing is going up all along the plaza
A slightly different elevation drawing, again viewed from Fifth Street, with some labels. (Click to enlarge.)
Detail of the train tunnels (click to view the entire drawing)
A Killebrew tribute covers part of the wall where the entry doors are located near the escalators.
The future history of Minnesota ballparks will go here
Here's the entrance from the seating bowl.
A timeline of design and construction of the ballpark. (Click to enlarge. Photo by Tyler Wycoff)
Glass going in over the Oliva gate.
New section labels, but some curious choices.
Franchise history before Minnesota. (Click to enlarge.)
An early concept for the pedestrial bridge. (Source: Ballpark Authority, RP)
Skywalk over Seventh, looking back toward the parking ramp
Click to enlarge greatly.
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.
The Metrodome has sure been tarted up.
Up inside the circulation building. (That's the LRT platform visible through the windows.)
Ullger warms up.
Directly above gate 6 "Oliva" on the Club level.
(Click to enlarge.)
Not much facade left to be finished at this point.
The closed concession stand.
ATM-style ticket machines have appeared beneath the steps to the B ramp (you can also enter the B ramp directly by walking past the ticket machines)
(Click to enlarge greatly)
It's a great view of the action, though standing here is somewhat discouraged.