New design for Lowertown ballpark draws mixed reviews

  • Article by: Jim Anderson , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 6, 2013 - 1:18 AM

The baseball stadium is meant to be open and inviting, and blend in with the historic character of St. Paul’s Lowertown neighborhood. But critics say the design is still too jarring.

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fanofstpaulDec. 5, 13 2:45 PM

Folks, if we strip away all the lighting effects, balloons, fireworks and other items meant to take away attention from the actual design of the ballpark, how on earth can Mayor Coleman, the Saints and particularly the architect Julie Snow claim this is a $62 million ballpark? Interior design aside... the front entrance facing Lowertown is so cheap looking and uninspiring. Design-wise it shows no true relationship to Lowertown. This morning’s unveiling was announced by the mayor's office only yesterday. Is it a coincidence that it occurs on the day (5PM) that representatives of this ballpark plan will go before the Saint Paul Heritage Preservation Commission and explain in part how the ballpark, which will be owned by the citizens of this city, will relate to the Lowertown Historic District? Let's remain hopeful that local and state elected officials, the Heritage Preservation Commission, the State Historic Preservation Office and others will be able to direct the ballpark’s minimalist front-entry design out of ‘foul’ territory and back into the public’s hands where it was promised long ago. Minneapolis continues to build iconic structures... while Saint Paul (this State's Capital City!) is (in the ballpark architect’s own words at a recent meeting) being "deferential" in its ballpark design. Good - Grief!

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EleanoreDec. 5, 13 3:08 PM

This is why taxes are so high, you're paying for things you shouldn't be. Let the saint pay for their own place of business and remove from office those who took your money to line the profits of their select group of winners. Gotta say, this isn't rocket science.

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luckylager63Dec. 5, 13 3:08 PM

I agree with the previous poster; take away the fireworks, balloons and other distractions in the artist renderings and one has to wonder where the money is being spent. How does this wispy, uninspired design fit in with the brick and stone that makes up Lowertown? The neighborhood deserves better, the fans deserve better.

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ron_jacobsonDec. 5, 13 3:15 PM

How much are tickets going to cost and how about parking. Are the Saints going to price themselves out of there market?

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rjgronesDec. 5, 13 3:15 PM

"Looking east from left field, as with Target Field and TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, a downtown skyline will provide the backdrop." -- Looking *west*.. from left field you mean?

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allen113Dec. 5, 13 3:25 PM

I don't understand the obsession with "fitting in" with the buildings around it that were built more than a century ago. Does this mean you want some Disney-esque version of Lowertown? Does this mean that every new building should look like the buildings near to it? That eliminates a lot the so-called iconic structures the first commenter refers to. Heck, the Foshay Tower wouldn't have been built under those rules!

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bwebsterDec. 5, 13 3:37 PM

Well, at least the leftfielders will have a nice view of the skyline.

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allen113Dec. 5, 13 3:55 PM

I bet a big chunk of that $62 million is going into site work and infrastructure - not something that most ticket buyers (or people glancing at a few drawings) will notice. By comparison, Target Field cost about 9 times that much and Wilf Stadium will be well over 16 times that much. Not too a bad deal for St. Paul!

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DufferHDec. 5, 13 3:59 PM

This is a $62 million sop given to St. Paul to quiet some of the discontent about the new Viking stadium being cited in Mpls. This is for the Saints, who are basically a "town team." True minor league teams have a major-league affiliation. The Saints have none. The moderator will probably delete this post.

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optionDec. 5, 13 4:03 PM

What a total waste! There's a perfectly good park in Minneapolis that already exists. When will St. Paul get over trying to compete with Minneapolis?

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