It was midday yesterday and I had to be downtown so, as I always do, I zipped on over to the ballpark site to get a quick look and some pictures. First up was the roof of the Minikahda building (click to enlarge):
What a view! I noticed a group of hard hats down Fifth Street looking at the tracks. One of those, I believe was our own AP, who offered a link to his photo gallery from the trip. Thanks, AP!
Next I headed down to the street and got a look at Gate 29 "Carew" which is rapidly taking shape in steel:
As you can see, some of the steel supports for the stadia are starting to appear, including the long one for the center field pavilion. At some point in 2010 I plan to see a game from right there:
At one point I was able to stick my camera in and get a look at what's going on beneath the steel (photos below), but then I moved on to the B ramp for a look at the plaza.
They were pouring concrete over a layer of sand over another layer of concrete on the plaza. Very perplexing:
Finally, I headed over to Seventh Street to get a look at the limestone and see what sorts of details had changed. As I walked back, I noticed a fellow in a suit jacket standing down at the corner of Seventh and Second, clearly admiring the work and making his way casually toward me. It was Jerry Bell.
Jerry always seems like a proud papa when looking at the ballpark construction. It's obvious that he's every bit as much a ballpark fan as the rest of us, and he's been the lucky one to have final say on pretty much everything in the design of this one.
He recognized me and greeted me warmly, explaining that he was just on his lunch break and it seemed like a good day to wander down this direction for a look. (On what type of day could he resist such temptation, I wondered!)
He mentioned that he can't see the steel work in center field from his office window and was curious (his office view being more or less the same as webcam #1). He also said again how pleased he is with the look of the limestone, something which becomes more and more evident as the Seventh Street facade continues toward completion in the coming months.
"They're trying to get as much enclosed as possible before winter," he explained, and then confirmed that everything is still right on schedule.
It was a brief conversation. We said our goodbyes and then he continued his lunch stroll up Seventh Street to do just what so many of us have done: peer through the fence, get a glimpse of the progress, and dream a little bit.
I headed back to my day, huffing and puffing from the whirlwind tour, but with my head filled once again with baseball dreams.
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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."
– Bernie Williams
Explore the Site
Here are 50 images chosen randomly from the 3004 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
Click to enlarge. (Photo by Tyler Wycoff)
Sky through steel.
What has been actually built so far is only a tiny subset of this vision.
First, an overview. The base of the plaza here will meet the base of Sixth Street at Second Avenue.
Not much facade left to be finished at this point.
Indications that club seating (the wider spaced areas above each dugout) will be a major presence in the lower deck
The plaza has been finished off just beautifully.
One more time from the third base side.
The view through a construction "knothole".
Legend's Club, Section E (Click to enlarge greatly.)
The scoreboard terminates the view on Fifth Street as seen from Hennepin
Inside the Metropolitan Club. Classic photo of a youthful Bob Casey at far right. (Photo by Tyler Wycoff)
A closer look at the louvers
Complicated pedestrian crossing
Locations for ticket machines near the Hrbek outdoor plaza
Two plazas in Spain. (Brad and I were pretending to steal coins from the fountain. We were all just so darn funny back in high school, eh?)
The french fry lights were on!
Gate 29 Carew
I had to hold the camera as far over my head as I could to get this shot, in which the infield is finally visible. It's a spot made for your average Timberwolves player.
Let's be honest and say that this promenade, which will face the HERC plant, won't be the most exciting part of the streetscape. It has to be provided for circulation reasons, but there won't be much to see unless vendors and other attractions take root here.
Workers against green
At the corner of the Pro Shop.
They could not help the Twins on this night.
Photo by Jeff Ewer
Before the team came out to warm up, Kirby Puckett, Jr. was playing Frisbee out in center.
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.
Click to enlarge
Our host points to the Puckett Atrium on the diagram.