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.
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This page was last modified on August 23, 2009.
"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 Ceremony (VIP in the crowd)
Now from the inside looking at the same area.
Gate 6 is quite large
Hardware in the window! (But why are there three trophies? 1924?)
Storage tracks in the foreground.
Here's the entrance from the seating bowl.
Someone please get those poor people a drink of water. (Gate 34, after the game had started)
A very busy place, as viewed from Target Center.
The plate marker is just to the left.
Viewed from another angle, you can see that the bullpens now sit beneath the upper deck outfield seating.
First, an overview. The base of the plaza here will meet the base of Sixth Street at Second Avenue.
Dan Kenney, my tour guide
Best view available from the "B" ramp.
One thing that the design disguises nicely is that the Pro Shop (and other key components) are actually built over lanes of freeway. That can clearly be seen here.
The media all turned out!
The main concourse is a very busy place at all times.
Perched welder on the top of the canopy.
(Click to enlarge.)
Two concepts here remain in the final design. First is the oddly-shaped pavilion in center. Second is the section just above the right field fence. In the current design this section will hang over the field by a few feet. The original doesn't do that, but you can see that the concept goes way back in the planning.
Team pennant. (Click to enlarge.)
Still some work to be done on the canopy.
Looking up Sixth Street, now barricaded for plaza extension.
10 years ago, Bruce Lambrecht looked at this land and thought, "Why NOT a ballpark here?" It took a long time before anybody else saw the same potential.