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 3019 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
The 1963 team won 91 games! (Click to enlarge and see the names)
These tracks actually travel beneath the admin building and come out on the other side
Loading dock -- already in use!
July 7, 1966 (Click to see the entire scorecard with ads)
Hops! (conceptual only)
Still some work to be done on the canopy.
The angle on the main scoreboard from the Batter's Eye is surprisingly good -- acceptable, at least.
Site of the proposed new Atlanta Braves ballpark. Look familiar?
One more exterior view shows that, while the original look was attractive in a way, it seems to be a variation on the look of the Washington ballpark (albeit with a much more coherent collection of elements). What's remarkable is that the design team has refined the concept amazingly well, improving it immeasurably. What we're actually getting is clearly descended from this, but it's in a whole different league:
Saints between innings
Playing surface dirt out there? Maybe. (click to enlarge)
Concrete molds are being removed!
Hubert's remains the only sports bar within site of the Dome after 28 years of its existence. It's a cautionary tale.
Grid for the ironwood louvres is in place
Viewed from a different angle, it seems fair to wonder is some of those seats will have slightly obscured views. Yet, if they're cheap, that's not a problem.
Not from Moose's tour, but it's an image you need to see. (Click to enlarge greatly.)
This little item stands just to the south of the site, where the volleyball courts used to be. It has to be related to exterior finishing elements, which means this is the first glimpse of the actual stone to be used. Very buttery.
Saturday afternoon, KMSP-HD 720P
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)
Looking up Fifth, with LRT tracks and B ramp at left
Fenway has posts. Target Field does not. But...
A little more imaginative is the circulation building for Northstar.
Polo Grounds facade, obscured
At the end of the balcony you can see down the promenade.
The Metrodome has sure been tarted up.
The ballpark development area expanded by 1000 feet in each direction