Maybe this is how Gardy feels after being tossed out of a game. I mean, there's nothing quite as humbling as being shown the door by The Authorities.
Well, that's exactly what happened to me today down at Ford Centre -- that spectacular, Borg-like building on the northwest corner of the ballpark site. My company once had space in that building, and I've been going down there to take photos of the ballpark site (and now ballpark construction -- how cool is that!) since October 31, 2001 when I snapped this beauty (click to enlarge greatly):
Today I was interrupted by a voice which said, simply, "Hello. Who are you?"
Tough question. Um, I'm just some guy taking pictures of the ballpark construction for a web site which is kind of a hobby of mine and that a lot of people visit to see some pictures because it's kind of their hobby too and I've been doing it for a long time and sorry if that's wrong. (That's about how it came out.)
The guard was very professional -- even cordial -- and explained that they had been warned in an email not to let anyone take pictures of the ballpark from the building. No further explanation was given. They must read the Downtown Journal.
I might feel a little less humiliated if I'd gotten something really cool to show you all, but this is what I got before getting the boot:
I'm hoping the management company is willing to consider an exception to this policy (what with the Pohlads owning the building and all), and I'm pursuing that because it would be a shame to lose this perspective. But I will, of course, abide by their wishes.
Meanwhile, I recently got a great offer from another building owner in the neighborhood, who was eager to welcome me to his roof with open arms. I've been trying to find the time to pursue that, and now will make it a priority.
One has to wonder what all the hullabaloo is about. My new camera (the Olympus SP-570UZ, which has been pretty disappointing overall) can get a lot more into the frame when zoomed all the way out. But that comes at the expense of glare when shooting through a window. This means that shooting through the skyway windows just doesn't work anymore.
Instead, I'm outside and down on the street, where the view may actually be better. Even with a little bit of reflection on the subject, I still think the worries about people taking photos from the skyways are perplexing. I've said it before, and I stick by it, that the people who make such decisions are just doing their jobs and their rules must be respected. But there is a point at which it becomes a little, I don't know, sad.
Vigilance is one thing. But when the machinery of society is jittery about a guy with a camera pursuing his little hobby (which, admittedly, may seem strange to some), then it has already given in to its would-be enemies. The battle is already lost.
To the Goods
Here is some new limestone:
Here is where it appears there will be exit from the circulation ramps after the game:
Here is where we will buy tickets:
Here is a rest room (presumably for men):
Here is the current view up Seventh Street:
Here is the steel work in progress on the Fifth Street side (yes, the sidewalk is open again):
Here's a view from the north of the freight tracks snaking beneath the promenade:
Here's the Seventh Street facade (notice the glare I mentioned):
"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.
Perched welder on the top of the canopy.
Skyline to the left of me, jokers to the right, here I am, stuck in the outfield with you... (click to enlarge)
Brick work just inside the opening matches the color of the limestone - per Jerry Bell's requirements.
Scoreboard in profile against the skyline
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.
7:52 PM It's nearing peak, and covering the stands behind third base.
Click to enlarge.
Do you know who did this drawing? If so, please tell me so I can give them proper credit.
The scoreboard terminates the view on Fifth Street as seen from Hennepin
Flowers and Hall-of-Fame plaques. Very nice.
Here's the entrance from the seating bowl.
The media had some beautiful foliage to use as a background.
A few weeks ago there were sand volleyball courts here. When the park opens, this will be surface parking. Maybe one day there will be something more interesting built on top of that parking...
Staircase entrance. You cannot miss them.
Lots of sun, but not much scoreboard from 127
Walkway construction is progressing
Here's a closer look.
Looking from First Avenue toward the ballpark (over the top of a construction barricade)
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.
This would have been the HERC side, though it's unclear just how far over the plant the retracted roof would have gone. My fear was always that they would have to shorten the track and more of the roof would have stayed over the ballpark. The only good retractable roof is one which disappears when not in use. I don't think they could have realistically created such a thing.
Click to enlarge
The dessert carts came out earlier, and looked even better than last year.
The knothole (sans view of anything interesting)
Here's a quick look into the layout of the Metropolitan Club.
Emergency access viewed in context
Serious home dugout work in progress.
More of a bird's-eye view of the same area.
You can't get there from here.
You'll be able to park here for a quick stop at the Pro Shop or ticket window.
Fun with section counting!
Look familiar? Unfortunately, just adding little balconies with cool angles will not offset the pervading ugliness.
The french fry lights were on!
The bases for the player statues have been recently upgraded.