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 3037 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
Uh oh. A code of conduct. Clearly posted. I'm not gonna mention any names, but you know who you are... (Click to enlarge.)
This terrible picture shows the netting in place through a knothole on Fifth
Work in progress.
Emergency access viewed in context
A view into the Legend's Club
Work has begun on the plaza, and the activity has started to impact I-394 traffic.
A peek through a tiny gate.
Some baseball legends (and Ron Coomer)
The Hrbek gate is directly below. It's a lively place after a game.
No admittance -- yet! Note that you can see the seating bolts which are in place already.
Looking up toward Sixth Street.
This is the plaza as viewed from the A ramp.
Limestone still dominates the Seventh Street walkway from a pedestrian point of view. But brick take over as you move upward -- a concession to cost, no doubt.
Just one lane of traffic and a couple of feet between the fence in right-center and the wall of the parking ramp!
Dan Kenney provided this alternate shot of a walkway behind the view level
Row indicators are spray-painted with stencils over rust and peeling paint.
No offense, TC, but you're pointing exactly the wrong direction if you want people to use the ramp opening to your right...
This design has a rather generic quality to it, but they appear to have considered the B garage. Though it isn't part of the model, they've clearly left room for it.
Steps going up at Gate 29/Carew
Here's the barricade in context at the end of the walkway
Looking down Sixth Avenue toward the plaza
New Concept Drawing - No Roof
This would be easy to miss, but I found it on a cart located directly behind the Batter's Eye seating on the upper concourse in center field.
Up inside the circulation building. (That's the LRT platform visible through the windows.)
Rich Pogin (left) and Bruce Lambrecht (Source: Skyway News)
This was from January 19, 2007, when it looked like wonderful things might never happen here.
Now, THIS is just some guy who appears to be hanging out on the LRT tracks talking to himself.