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.
"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 3042 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
Opening Day 2008 (By Currier & Ives)
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.
The glorious Gate 34
This isn't a very good picture, but it is the current view of the inside of a suite.
This is the left field pavilion in the original concept model. The restaurant pictured to its right has been moved, and the seating area has been extended at least one full section toward center.
Killebrew's mammoth shot on June 3, 1967 is currently memorialized on a wall at the Mall of America
This is where the main ticket office will be.
Typical standing room crowd which started early and lasted the entire game.
The view out Gate 6 "Oliva".
Original Concept - With a Retractable Roof
Showing more of the context for the louvers.
Just lighted panels... *sigh*
Sure would be nice to cover that metal grid with more wooden louvers, eh?
Inside the Metropolitan Club. Classic photo of a youthful Bob Casey at far right. (Photo by Tyler Wycoff)
Workers against green
You can get a hand-carved sandwich, or ice cream while pondering the career of Julio Becquer.
An alternate route into downtown. (Click to get an interactive map.)
No arches. No brick. No girders. Classic.
A walkway begins to form (this is as close as you can get right now)
Wayfinding within the B ramp is still a work in progress.
The lot within the lot.
The LRT station, sitting in a brand new urban canyon, takes shape.
For some inexplicable reason, a lot of the new parks being built these days feature grand staircases like this one.
Most of the main concourse is filled with construction materials...
Here is the most recent outfield configuration, captured from the animation video. We probably shouldn't make too much of the logos seen on the scoreboard: Best Buy, Dairy Queen, Target, Pepsi, Dodge and Qwest...
The lone light standard and one of those "entry beacons."
That's Fifth Street (and a tattooed arm) in the foreground.