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 3037 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
Door to the visitor's clubhouse.
Circulation ramps: Wrigley (classic, integrated) and Kauffman (modern, external)
From the revised site plan, this is the configuration of Gate 34 Puckett.
Purple flowers above Second Avenue
They help create a psychological safe area along the plaza edge, and help you forget that cars are zipping by directly beneath you.
Click to enlarge.
A spot that's always full!
Dramatic night-time lighting.
Sunday afternoon, WFTC-HD 720P
Click to see the whole page from this 1971 program.
Circulation building with construction team on top
Photo by Jeff Ewer
A Hrbek tribute wall marks the end of the Carew side of the club
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.
Looking back toward First Avenue
I noticed this detail while taking the previous picture. I figure that it must be the VIP entrance from the surface parking lot. I don't think there is any parking inside the ballpark, so this entrance will likely be for suite-dwellers and other VIPs, though I can't say for sure whether players will enter here.
A mysterious smile from within a very deep planter!
New section labels, but some curious choices.
This will be a great neighborhood. Note that the covering is being built for the emergency access. Also, note the streamers above, which appear to be monitoring air flow.
Snow-blowing the field
This shows the area where the Northstar platform connects with the ballpark (that translucent oval). Above that is the area which will house the Twins operations offices.
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.
Look familiar? Unfortunately, just adding little balconies with cool angles will not offset the pervading ugliness.
Puckett atrium chef stand menu
The plate marker is just to the left.
Solution for a hot night, just inside Gate 34 (that's a cool mist, by the way, not hot steam, which would be kind of cruel)