Monday, March 12, 2007

In the Ballpark

Marianne Combs from Minnesota Public Radio joined the AIA Minneapolis Urban Design Committee for their March luncheon to report on the design of the new Minnesota Twins Ballpark located in downtown Minneapolis. The Luncheon panel included Hennepin County Commissioner Mike Opat, Architects Bruce Miller from HOK and Bill Blanski from HGA and Implementation Committee member and North Loop resident David Frank. Chuck Balentine, Deputy Coordinator for the Hennepin County Ballpark Project was the moderator.

Read or listen to the MPR report, Will the Downtown Diamond Sparkle? then add your comments below. The Urban Design Committee has also set up a yahoo group to disseminate and discuss the lasted information on ballpark design issues. To join the group email Emily at and she will send you a personal invitation.


motherjones said...

I would like to know the opinion of the architects involved regarding the heavy handed way that the new tax levy will be imposed on Hennepin County citizens without the opportunity for a referendum. This seems like a democracy design issue that tilts too heavily toward the wealthy.
Architects I know are usually principled in theory, but will rarely take a stand if it means loss of money in the pocket. Professional baseball is the only one of the big sports that I still have a wisp of affection for, but I will avoid the new stadium because of all of this.

Anonymous said...

It will certainly be interesting if you find an opinion from an architect who shares you sentiments and actually does "take a stand". But what would that stand be? Don't take their kids to the ballpark for a game as you suggest? Take a litmus test of each client before working on any projects? Stand in protest, join committees, have their say and then what if they don't prevail? In any case celebrate democracy and work with the power of design even if the wealthy have the upper hand.

Anonymous said...

honestly, i'm not so concerned about the financing/tax levy because i know that CPED (mpls) and PED (st paul) use our tax money to subsidize all types of 'economic development' endeavors--without a vote or the thought that this might happen in the service of creating a 'district' that may revitalize the street level economy in a vital part of the city that has long been home to surface parking is intriguing to me.

my issues are with the actual design and implementation of this new 'zone/district'...making sure that the street level economy is bolstered and that the experience of attending the ballpark is a special one for kids and visitors to our city-who'll want to come back and spend money again and again.

it is utterly stupid not to include retractable roof technology so that there is the possibility of utilizing the building for various events ALL YEAR LONG (as opposed to only when MLB baseball is in season)...its also unfortunate that the view from homeplate will focus on 2 of the WORST buildings (multifoods tower & target center) in a city full of beautiful ones:(

Anonymous said...

My issue is that architects rarely criticize the moneyed interests, like the Pohlads. The Pohlads (pronounced Po' Lads ?)simply do not need our money to build the stadium. But these interests have a thousand ways to rig the system to their benefit. And skimmming theirs off the top for a stadium is just one more technique. Your right, other government entities do this all the time. I'm not surprised that taxes are used for corporate welfare far more than they are for poor people. My concern is that we don't see this as a problem.

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