This post has been modified to correct the characterization of the service levels.
Next up on our tour is a look at the ballpark from its foundation.
The loading dock, which is nestled beneath Seventh Street, has long been completed and is now fully functional. That means there are trucks coming and going, and an unsuspecting tourist runs the risk of being flattened.
Loading docks to the right, VIP entrances to the left.
The adjacent parking lot, which will be used by the players and other VIPs, is also nearly complete.
No more than a few steps inside the loading dock, there is currently a large opening. Eventually this will be gone, covered by the lower seating bowl, but for now you can find yourself standing just a few feet from where the field will soon be, with a view of the whole site.
I learned several interesting things:
First, those square cement openings in the last picture will actually be therapy pools for the players!
Second, it will be possible to move all the way around the ballpark on the service level. This is possible because of a very skinny walkway which will be between the right field fence and the support structure for the plaza. Most modern ballparks do not have 360-degree access on the service level. In most cases, they wish they had included it.
Third, in certain spots there are actually two levels beneath the main concourse. This is possible primarily because of the height of the bridges which border the site (Fifth and Seventh Streets). These mezzanines are used for mechanical equipment and other "back of house" operations. It's another example of cleverness by the designers to make everything fit in such a small space.
Here's an image from across the park with labels to illustrate it (the red arrow is where I stood when taking the pictures above):
It's somewhat amazing that, despite the ballpark's compact footprint, operational compromises appear to have been not much of a factor.
Up one level and you can see a few more things -- like shirts hanging on the visitor's dugout.
Also visible in that image are the backs of two limestone panels just being delivered. It sheds a little light on how those things are assembled.
This is as good a time as any for a quick mention of bike-related issues. Here's a quick shot of the bike trail under construction (parallel to the railroad tracks):
Next, here's a view up Third Avenue toward the ballpark:
Dan explained that they hope to make some adjustments to Third to be more friendly to bikes and pedestrians. This is possible because this little section of Third is really nothing more than a freeway entrance. The concept is to realign the street to the right in this image (so it basically hugs the parking ramp), with bikeway and additional pedestrian space on the left. These will lead to bike storage facilities at the ballpark. It's another way to make the site truly multi-modal.
Before closing, here are two great images from the Intermodal Station Study. The first is a nifty ballpark rendering with all the transportation connections highlighted:
The second is a vision for what the area might look like when various planned transportation improvements are inserted:
Be sure to click the link and look at the images with labels. It's fascinating and quite hopeful.
I'll have more to say on this subject when our tour continues...
"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.
7:32 PM Glare begins at about the left field foul pole.
Dome, what have you taken from us?
This is a good overview of the spot where the Northstar (bottom) and LRT (top) will intersect.
A mysterious smile from within a very deep planter!
Photo by Tyler Wycoff
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".
They help create a psychological safe area along the plaza edge, and help you forget that cars are zipping by directly beneath you.
An early concept for the pedestrial bridge. (Source: Ballpark Authority, RP)
B ramp improvements are finally becoming usable. The doors lead to the plaza beneath the skyway steps.
This is what it looked like during the first open house in March.
One of the sweetest sights of the day -- the Dome, and only through passing bus windows.
I think AP is in there somewhere...
Steps, skyway, and plaza intersect.
Work on one of the side panels
Very nice Admin glass.
Some baseball legends (and Ron Coomer)
Roll-up metal doors visible at right.
At the end of the balcony you can see down the promenade.
This is where you will put out your butts -- I mean enjoy some pretty flowers.
The Ballpark Authority at work (Source: RP)
Then you turn around to this!
Waiting for a train. Reading on the promenade. How urbane.
Do you need to know the score?
Stairs down to Seventh Street now have the start of railings
Look closely and you'll see limestone on the front of the press box!
August 2001 (a month later we were engaged)
Larry DiVito, mowing
Opening day, 2010
Freight trains run in very close proximity (Jerry Bell was standing at my left elbow when I took this picture)
Viewed from the sidewalk on Seventh Street. No skyway infringement needed.
A few weeks ago there were sand volleyball courts here. When the park opens, this will be surface parking. Maybe one day there will be something more interesting built on top of that parking...
Up there is where I plan to buy a lot of hot dogs. You can see the vending areas developing rather quickly around the completed portion of the upper concourse.
Killebrew's mammoth shot on June 3, 1967 is currently memorialized on a wall at the Mall of America
The Pro Shop.
Photo by Tyler Wycoff
This is a slightly blurry view of the pavilion in center. It has a quirky shape, but one which is completely consistent with the overall ballpark design. Nice work there. You can also get a glimpse of the greenery which will rise above the fences.