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Sent to the Showers (For the Team!)

August 20, 2008 12:11 AM

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):

October 31, 2001

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:

P8190236a.jpg


P8190237a.jpg

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:

P8190203a.jpg

Here is where it appears there will be exit from the circulation ramps after the game:

P8190183a.jpg

Here is where we will buy tickets:

P8190207a.jpg

Here is a rest room (presumably for men):

P8190185a.jpg

Here is the current view up Seventh Street:

P8190199a.jpg

Here is the steel work in progress on the Fifth Street side (yes, the sidewalk is open again):

P8190220a.jpg

Here's a view from the north of the freight tracks snaking beneath the promenade:

P8190234a.jpg

Here's the Seventh Street facade (notice the glare I mentioned):

P8190251a.jpg

Here's another look at the glorious limestone:

P8190179a.jpg

Enjoy!

Comments


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Great pics...Thank you

Posted on August 20, 2008 at 02:47 AM by Locker Highlight this comment 1

Still awsome pics.... Thanks!

Posted on August 20, 2008 at 07:43 AM by Mazaratirck Highlight this comment 2

Rick, maybe you got kicked out of the Ford building because you were interfering with their attempts to set up the 2nd webcam.

Posted on August 20, 2008 at 08:42 AM by mplsgreg Highlight this comment 3

i'd like to remind twins management that the public is paying the majority of their cash cow ballpark and someone such as the founder of this site, who has been a cheerleader for your cash cow should be given free reign to take photos of the progress of said ballpark. the twins site has been slow to update the park's progress and this site is serving the public's interest in construction of the public's investment. this site is building goodwill and is basically a marketing tool for twins baseball. let the man take his pics!

and great pics as always before you were whisked away from the ford centre viewing perch.

Posted on August 20, 2008 at 08:47 AM by Tim Highlight this comment 4

Rick, I'm sure you know but you can get a nifty attachment that will allow you to shoot through glass and greatly reduce, if not eliminate glare. My Wifes father was a professional photographer so I have heard a bit about it.

Posted on August 20, 2008 at 09:35 AM by moda253 Highlight this comment 5

The view from the Ford Centre really shows how large the concourses are. Great pics.

Posted on August 20, 2008 at 10:59 AM by Lafferty Highlight this comment 6

Nice Pictures. Now i wish the Twins could do some updating of their own.

Posted on August 20, 2008 at 12:42 PM by NewGuy Highlight this comment 7

i was at the dome again on friday and it just bugs me how inconvenient everything is there. i was in the 6th row on the 3rd base side and when i went on the trek to the restroom, i had to go forever and a day up the vertical stairs (when we weren't blocked by a vendor) and when reaching the top, i felt winded. i then had to find a restroom without a line a mile long while following liriano's pitches on one of the few tvs.

the new ballpark will afford us many great things: smoother inclines on the stairs, open concourses, more restrooms, and many other things. knowing that in less than a season and a half i'll be able to enjoy the spring, summer, and autumn evenings outside gets me very very excited.

i also can't wait to see the ballpark on national television (maybe we'll have opening night like the cardinals and nationals did) from overhead while the espn crew talks about all the great features of the park and the city in which it sits.

those are my thoughts for after lunch.

Posted on August 20, 2008 at 1:46 PM by annoying customer Highlight this comment 8

This is random, but does anyone know what side of the field they are going to store the rolled up tarp? I would guess third base visitor side, but who knows...Not that it really matters anyways. Just curious

Posted on August 20, 2008 at 2:14 PM by random guy Highlight this comment 9

Thanks for all the good photos.

As someone who actually worked on the design of the building but is not able to get up there to see the progress I enjoy seeing how the construction of the building is going. I am super excited to see the final product.

Please keep the images coming and congratulations on your new addition.

Posted on August 20, 2008 at 2:32 PM by kruu425 Highlight this comment 10

Please keep the skyway pictures coming even if there is glare. We don't have enough people posting pictures of the new place so anything I(I'm sure the others like it too :) ) can get is great. Keep up the wonderful work.

Posted on August 20, 2008 at 3:20 PM by ML Highlight this comment 11

What a great day. New ballpark pics (thanks Rick), Twins win, Brian Bass to Rochester. I should buy a lottery ticket!

Posted on August 20, 2008 at 4:30 PM by luckylager Highlight this comment 12

Now I know why we haven't seen the 2nd webcam up and running, it is probably because the security officers are taking it down every time it gets set up...for terrorism reasons of course!

Posted on August 20, 2008 at 5:42 PM by Uncle Tom, OG Highlight this comment 13

Luckylager,

You've gone and done it again - you took the words out of my mouth. Just last night I said to a friend of mine, "If I never see Brian Bass in a Twins uniform again it will be too soon."

Posted on August 20, 2008 at 7:24 PM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 14

I would like to add to the comment above regarding the Twins & THE BALLPARK AUTHORITY'S (and especially you DSP since I know you're reading) sh*tty updates: As a (corporate) season ticket holder who has already forked out several thousand dollars for club seats, and is planning on forking out a couple more thousand on regular seats when they become available - I am so thoroughly upset and disappointed in the lack of updating regarding progress, photos, specs, etc. on the Twins official site. What really got me over the edge was the recent trip to New York when we got a better feel for the new Yankee Stadium on FSN than we did for our new ballpark that this organization and loyal fans like Rick and the visitors to this site HAVE BEEN FIGHTING FOR FOR YEARS!!!! I can't write anymore without getting vulgar, so I'll leave it at that...

P.S. - Ballpark Authority - Thanks for the 3 month old slideshows, and thanks for posting construction updates 3 days after they happen.

Posted on August 20, 2008 at 7:32 PM by DRo Highlight this comment 15

got an idea: how bout we ALL go down to the stadium site at the same time and take millions of pictures?

Posted on August 20, 2008 at 8:17 PM by yeahklye Highlight this comment 16

Just FYI. It case anyone missed it, after the squeeze play of the Twins finally against Oakland, FSN said they will be airing a show/tour of the new ballpark called "Under The Lights" at 7:oo pm tomorrow.

Posted on August 20, 2008 at 8:19 PM by Jeff Highlight this comment 17

...it must have been while you were kissing me..

Posted on August 20, 2008 at 8:30 PM by luckylager Highlight this comment 18

Actually getting a bunch of us to go down there and take pictures sounds like a great idea. Maybe hit up a sports bar and watch the game together after?

Posted on August 21, 2008 at 09:40 AM by moda253 Highlight this comment 19

Yeah, I'd be up for a group tour and gamewatch.

Posted on August 21, 2008 at 1:22 PM by David Highlight this comment 20


This page was last modified on January 21, 2010.



"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."

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Explore the Site

Here are 50 images chosen randomly from the 3042 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.


The overhang as seen through the unnumbered gate


















Hey! That limestone looks familiar!



Looking up Sixth Street, now barricaded for plaza extension.






A mass of rebar and complicated cable runs ready for a pour.









This is the upper deck in Anaheim



This is the start of construction on the Northstar platform which will feed under the bridge and to a lobby with escalators and elevators just inside the ballpark's public concourse. Compared to the ballpark construction, this looks kind of puny. But the work just to get the trains to come has been positively Herculean. Future generations will look back at this with awe.



Infield dirt used as accents



The Pro Shop.






Ice cream!



This appears to be the floor to the home dugout!






Someone please get those poor people a drink of water. (Gate 34, after the game had started)






The reverse angle shows that the signage will only partially obscure views from the top of the ramp. The wall is pretty high up there, so you'll need something to stand on, but it appears that this is one of the so-called "knotholes".






Hot dawgs! Getcher hot dawgs!



The east wall of the building looks like it will be the first part completed. These are probably supports for the plaza, and they hug the very edge of the site.



Lots of folks working behind those ticket windows



This is also the promenade, where the first indications of the final texture of the walkway can be seen. This layer of concrete is going on top of gravel (as has been done over on the plaza).



I still counted 11 flag poles...



This is as close as I could get to a pedestrian-eye view of the main entrance. This is what you'll see as you enter by coming down Sixth Street.









Spring of 1982 (click to enlarge greatly -- can you pick out Kent Hrbek?)



Rod Carew will greet you, but he's sorely in need of a home plate for reference. (Killebrew is too.)



Polo Grounds facade, obscured



We bumped into Jerry Bell (at right)!






Poles through the gap






Is it possible to take a bad picture of this building?









Gate 29 "Carew" is at right.



A distinct misstep, ostensibly to guard against missteps. But methinks I smell a lawyer...



Shibe Park



Storage tracks in the foreground.



That's my mom. She scored the whole game on her Gameday program (bought for just $1 on the opening night special -- thanks guys!)











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