Here are a few more images from my lengthy walking tour around the ballpark the other day.
I believe that the truck is parked in one of the curb cutouts which are being installed to facilitate ticket sales and traffic calming.
The process of building the canopy is really amazing to watch.
A portrait of the 573 Club.
These openings will facilitate access to the catwalks which run throughout the canopy.
Block E = Conservatory II
If you walk the skyway in the vicinity of the ballpark, you probably have walked through the Block E mall once or twice. Maybe you've stopped there for a cookie or some other snack. I doubt that you bought a book there, though you could have at one time. And if that's where you buy your video games, start looking elsewhere.
The question is only whether this mall is just rapidly dying or already dead.
A sign that your mall is all but dead: roped off escalators. (This is at about 4:00 PM on a weekday.)
Some of you may remember The Conservatory, a much-heralded and highly ornate shopping mall which graced the Nicollet Mall for a scant few years in the late 80s and early 90s.
Don't look for it. It's long gone. And I'd provide a link to a photo or two, or maybe a profile, but this mall was so incredibly unsuccessful and short-lived that it was torn down before its 10th birthday, and people are quite happy to have it erased from Minneapolis' collective memory. (It did, however, give us Tejas, a great restaurant which relocated to 50th and France when The Conservatory closed. My brother was a waiter there, which is where he met and was befriended by envelope magnate Harvey McKay. McKay was, after all, the type of clientele that The Conservatory hoped to attract.)
The main problem was that it was built with a "clever" design that was intended to force foot traffic into certain patterns which would supposedly increase sales at the various stores. Instead, all it did was cause people to get lost inside it (which I did once), and it drove customers away shaking their heads (with all their money still in their pockets too).
Block E isn't quite that bad, but it's bad.
I parked at a meter on Sixth and looked for a mall entrance. There is none on Sixth. There are entrances to individual stores, but no mall entrance! (For the record, there's no mall entrance over on Seventh either.) I walked over to First Avenue, and couldn't find a mall entrance there either, but I did find a door which says "Skyway" above it. Entering there, and snaking up a parking-ramp-grade stairwell, I came to this:
Which way to the skyway? Really??
Yes, I can see the skyway through the windows -- it's right there -- but I can't get to it. Instead, I'm funneled around past the theater box office (with a lone, lonely employee serving exactly no customers) and into an open courtyard where I'm greeted by the roped-off escalators seen above.
I remember trying to do the reverse one time -- that is, getting from the skyway to the entrance to the Graves Hotel. It was touch-and-go for a while whether I was going to have to go back to Target Center, head down to the street, and cross First Avenue at a crosswalk. Ultimately, I had to find the elevators because both an escalator and a stairwell that might have been helpful were roped off for "security" reasons.
From an earlier visit: Don't bother with those escalators either. They were also roped off. And how about a bench? Or a planter? Or even a trash can? That woman is doing the only thing she can: leaning up against a post to do her texting.
I also remember buying a cookie here with Noah and discovering that there are no places to sit anywhere in this courtyard. Not a single bench or even a planter with a ledge. Only if you're a paying customer at Applebee's or -- God help me -- Hooters will you find a place to sit. (Mrs. Fields does have a couple of tiny tables to one side, allowing all cookie-eating family members to get a clean view into Hooters. I'm not a prude, but come on. And for the record, most of the eateries appear to have at least some private seating. There just is no seating in the common area anywhere. It positively screams, "Keep moving. Get out of here.")
I suppose that one day my son will graduate from Mrs. Fields to Hooters. At least he won't have to travel too far. *Shudder*
I know that the plaza is the "front door" to the ballpark. But Block E is the front door to the plaza.
Minneapolis ought to be more than a little embarrassed by this turkey. I find myself hoping that the same forces which took down The Conservatory come into play here before too long.
"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 3003 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
This is the view from where the plaza will connect to the walkway on the west side of Target Center. This presumably aids traffic flow back to the A ramp, and perhaps to the skyway connection (though the doors to the skyway right there are typically exit only).
Comerica Park main entrance: Tigers, bats, and much (maybe too much) more (Source: LP)
That's part of the wind veil, waiting in the B ramp for installation
T is for Twins
To the left, out of view, was a row of guys in very nice suits. Most I did not recognize.
B ramp at left, ballpark at right (and visible far away through the tiny crack)
Integrating the administration building was really a great idea. Actually, there will be more things inside than just offices, but that will probably be some sweet space.
A timeline of design and construction of the ballpark. (Click to enlarge. Photo by Tyler Wycoff)
Three weeks ago this was a patch of scruffy trees. Now it's a patio. In case you were wondering, that's where I've been...
The moat walkway viewed from across the park.
This looks up Sixth Street from Hennepin. Just imagine what this will look like during a night game!
The Metrodome hot dog vendor. (Source: RP)
At one point, we thought these windows might represent one of the so-called knotholes. But nope. Nothing to see here. (Nearest I can tell, there will be no view of the playing field whatsoever from the Seventh Street sidewalk.)
Marquette looking south
Stepping inside the circulation building
Detail showing clubhouse and home dugout (click to see the entire drawing)
More of a bird's-eye view of the same area.
Target HQ main entrance. Ballpark resemblance? (Inset.)
Just lighted panels... *sigh*
Ballpark magic: Infield materializes (click to enlarge)
Detail on the main gate, with Target Field sign
Awesome seat. Awesome sun. Awesome hitter. (Photo by Tony Voda, courtesy Jared Wieseler)
The limestone now wraps around onto the HERC side.
Viewed from a different angle, it seems fair to wonder is some of those seats will have slightly obscured views. Yet, if they're cheap, that's not a problem.
Section 101, Row 34
The pink thing is a mascot. (Actually, with a damn fine mascot actor underneath.)
The shade of the canopy gives way to a brief shaft of light. It would do the same again a short while later when the sun passed through that tiny open sliver between the View and Terrace levels.
Here's a closer look at the bullpen area. It's hard to tell for sure, but I think there is still an opening to the concourse right above.
Brick work just inside the opening matches the color of the limestone - per Jerry Bell's requirements.
Sky through steel.
Open concourses do mean that you can glimpse the field no matter where you are, but not really the game.
The scoreboard also towers over the LRT tracks, which now are functional (though not open) all the way to the park -- and beyond!