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 3033 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
Looking from the doorway to the south, across Seventh Street
The view from the corner of Ford Centre. (Feel free to tie up your boats here.)
The connection from the corner of Seventh Street and Second Avenue. You can now see where the little grassy area and franchise history board will be (the triangular area in the foreground).
Left field bench seating
For $19.95 you can load up your plate (one trip only)
Oh, a flag pole will be so much more...dignified
Earl Santee, principle architect for HOK Sport, presents some concepts while Mike Opat listens
The old flour Gold Medal Flour Mill, located next to the new Guthrie theater (Source: RP)
Click to enlarge greatly.
The Polo Grounds (left) and Shibe Park (Connie Mack Stadium)
The Pro Shop.
Here is Seventh Street viewed from the west looking toward downtown. This will probably be the most pedestrian-friendly side (other than the plaza), but only if there is some psychological barrier between the people on foot and the people in their dangerously fast-moving automobiles.
One more exterior view shows that, while the original look was attractive in a way, it seems to be a variation on the look of the Washington ballpark (albeit with a much more coherent collection of elements). What's remarkable is that the design team has refined the concept amazingly well, improving it immeasurably. What we're actually getting is clearly descended from this, but it's in a whole different league:
Sunday afternoon, WFTC-HD 720P
Click to enlarge. (Photo by Tyler Wycoff)
The steel cage expands.
An overview of the model display.
Here's the view from the main concourse out through Gate 3 "Killebrew".
From last week, you can see the piers taking shape. I believe that the front row, visible here as just forms and reinforcing rods, is the front edge of the plaza.
B ramp glimpse
Apparently, there will be public restrooms accessible directly from the plaza.
This is the view from the Seventh Street circulation ramp. It will eventually be covered by the wood louvers.
Looking up toward Seventh Street.
Team pennant. (Click to enlarge.)
A sidewalk has sprouted between the HERC and the LRT tracks!
I think that's a pig up there on that vane!
A scene repeated about a million times each game
The art panels on the Fifth Street facade as viewed from the top of the Minnekahda building.
Louver samples on display.
That group was working on something very carefully, but I couldn't tell just what it was.