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 3019 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
Red is old Yankee Stadium. This diagram comes from FieldOfSchemes.com
This is where the plaza meets First Avenue
This is the HERC Premonade with railroad tracks snaking beneath. (I think this should be named the Halsey Hall Premonade. Seriously.)
This is the entrance behind home plate (not visible in the renderings which have been released). It shows that the upper deck is set back from the facade -- a very good thing if it remains in the final design.
Sunday afternoon, WFTC-HD 720P
The Pro Shop
Wind veil install from across Seventh
The littlest Twins fan: Truman
Walkway sneak peek
At the other end of the bridge, the configuration of the tracks has become clear.
Path of quick escape.
Concrete molds are being removed!
Hot dawgs! Getcher hot dawgs!
This view, from the Minnekahda building (or possibly a predecessor), looks toward the right field corner. The City Market, at left, occupied the land where the B ramp and Target Plaza now stand (over I-394). And the Overlook now juts out just a little beyond where that driveway enters the railyard.
Section 331, Row 9
"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.
Click to enlarge. (Photo by Tyler Wycoff)
Uh oh. A code of conduct. Clearly posted. I'm not gonna mention any names, but you know who you are... (Click to enlarge.)
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.
For $19.95 you can load up your plate (one trip only)
I see an opportunity in this view for an Abbey Road-style promotional photo! Mauer, Morneau, Nathan and Cuddyer walking toward the ballpark. The only question: which one takes off his cleats?
Look beyond the gigantic hand (a hounds tooth jacket? really?) and you'll get a glimpse of the main grandstand configuration. The two (or is it three?) levels of suites are visible, as is the design of the so-called "split upper deck," and the extensive use of limestone for decorative accents. Let's hope these little touches don't get cut as costs increase, because they make a nice tie-in from the outside of the park to the inside. Of most interest to me is the way that the very best seats are physically separated from all the rest of the seats by that limestone. There will be virtually no way to sneak into these seats. On one level, that's a somewhat sad design feature...
One of the sweetest sights of the day -- the Dome, and only through passing bus windows.
The art panels on the Fifth Street facade as viewed from the top of the Minnekahda building.
Larry DiVito, mowing
Main concourse, looking south toward the area behind home plate.
The tracks on the right will be moved to the newly-cleared area on the left. The edge of the ballpark will be about where the rocks and dirt meet.
The glorious Gate 34
A view into the Legend's Club
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.