Open Saint Paul: What design features would make the Lowertown ballpark an asset to the neighborhood?


The Lowertown ballpark will be designed to meet the programmatic needs of its tenants. Its interior layout and facilities must function as intended, and address the various users that will call it home. But, the City of Saint Paul believes that it also must be designed to be an asset to its neighborhood. How the ballpark is designed on its exterior, how it relates to the street and sidewalk, how it addresses the historic setting and buildings in Lowertown – these are also important considerations.

Please give us your ideas about how the design of the ballpark can make it an asset to Lowertown!

From Alice Marks inside Ward 2:

Our building is across the market square from the site proposed for your ballpark. For nearly 25 years it has been a live/work artists' lofts co-op. Our building has 30 units and a lot with far, far fewer parking spaces. Parking costs and convenience are already challenged by regular events like the weekend farmers market, as well as yearly events like the complete gridlock we experience for much of St. Patrick's Day and Winter Carnival parades. (What complete zoos those are. See also:

How do you intend to keep these streets safe, clean, and usable? Where do you think they're all going to park? Who is going to be responsible for these costs? Would you want these folks "tailgaiting" in front of your house? Thanks for your consideration.

From Joseph Gustafson inside Ward 6:

The rebirth of the Lowertown area, especially around Mears Park, has been one of the best things to happen to St Paul in recent years. Hopefully the Saints Ballpark will work with that winning formula.

Concept drawings so far have been disappointing, in line with the alien and peculiar angular shapes of the Minneapolis Library, Target Field, and the proposed new Vikings stadium. Architecture is undoubtedly a personal taste, but this kind of design would not be a good fit with Lowertown's historic charm, and St. Paul's for that matter. A good design for the neighborhood should draw from it rather than stand in stark contrast to it. Architectural elements borrowed from Union Depot, the Cayuga railroad tunnels, and the Hamm's complex would be exellent local tie-ins.

Lastly, the ballpark should provide the same, or more, tailgating space as Midway Stadium, including provisions for safe disposal of charcoal ash. A loss of tailgating would be a loss of one of the Saints' greatest entertainment assets.

From Bill Hosko inside Ward 2:

Mayor Coleman, if you and your staff are sincerely wanting to do the right thing, please put pride and politics aside and ensure downtown Saint Paul ultimately gets the type of quality ballpark/multiple-use development it deserves...

Saint Paul needs a year-round venue for this site; a real jobs producing and new economic activity generating 'destination center' for not only great baseball, but other quality year-round amenities as well.

Re-purposing the Gillette building can do both. Your office says this is "impractical". I and others legitimately disagree. However... let this decision to re-purpose or demolish the massive, structurally sound Gillette building be put to The People!, whom you were elected to serve. Do not deny them this opportunity.

As we all know Public dollars will be paying for most of the 52 million budgeted for the development. Let's seperate fact from fiction; wheat from the chaff. Let's bring in the objective experts, potential tenants and citizens and business owners and have a real discussion about what is best for everyone.

Here again is a link to the alternate concept: .

Thank you.

From Patrick Driscoll inside Ward 2:

If the people of Saint Paul would want to get a payback for the money they are putting into this ballpark they should all check out the Raising Saint Paul, blog. This is a concept that uses the existing building for year round use. This may not be the end design, but it is a starting point that has had many additions proposed by other people that are interested in a year round use of the site and is still open for more suggestions

From Sean Ryan inside Ward 3:

As a current St Paul resident who has formerly lived in Lowertown, here are my thoughts for ballpark design elements:

  1. More parking lots/structures should be built in the empty land east of the proposed site for ballpark and farmers market parking with easy walking access back to both locations.
  2. The style needs to incorporate elements of lowertown and downtown. Some ideas: brick for the old warehouses, Art murals/installations to reflect the artists of lowertown, some classical elements borrowed from the Union Depot (maybe columns, marble, or ornate carving), some modern elements (Glass, metal, etc..) to fit in with the modern sky scrapers.
  3. Extend Skyways to exit closer to the farmers market/ball park
  4. Include a paved running track/path that can be used by recreational runners and inline skaters around all or part of the field.
  5. Include an indoor meeting room/hall that can be used for events and meetings all year round
  6. Include a long narrow indoor hall way that could be used for year round events with lots of booths/tables, maybe in the entry way, similar to the entrance area at the Como Zoo.
  7. Allow for the configuration of an ice rink for winter skating/hockey
  8. Allow for the configuration of a stage for musical acts or outdoor plays
  9. Have the score board visible to the Highway to advertise when games are playing and increase community awareness/connection of the stadium.
  10. Have a kids playground/structure/area with view of the field for the families that go to the Saints games
  11. Ensure that the 4th st Bike/Walking connection to Bruce Vento and Swede Hollow and Lowertown is maintained.

There are 16 comments on this question as of January 11, 2013. Read the rest here.

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