On my way into PGE Park yesterday for my weekly renovation update, I saw a Notice of Public Hearing, posted high on a fence among the arcades on Morrison St.
Upon closer inspection, it turns out to be a review process on proposed signage in the park. Seems odd to me that the City would have to approve things like the ad boards around the field, but a lot of things about civic processes seem odd to me.
Once inside the Park, I saw (as have you, if you’ve been looking at the webcam) that the support walls for the new east stand are up, and the North End dugouts and field suites are gone. The west side field suites are still there, albeit in a much dilapidated form, and should be completely demolished by the end of the week.
The bulk of the work taking place in the park now is focused on the east side, getting everything ready for the arrival of the steel later this week. Things are already starting to take shape now — standing in section 101 or 102, you can feel the new east stand the new shape of the seating bowl — but once that steel arrives we’ll start seeing marked changes every day as the new stand and medical clinic are erected.
Other things to note as the renovation progresses:
- The press box has been gutted, and will soon be refurbished with better press stations and coaches booths. After all, John Strong has got to be comfortable so he can lend his outstanding dulcet oratory to our match broadcasts. Et cet.
- That big wooden ramp you can see in the middle of the field is actually a bridge crossing the subterranean Tanner Creek. If you notice, all of the heavy equipment has to cross that ramp to get from one side of the field to another; and now you know why.
- It was important to me and a lot of other people that Feral Cat Alley remain a part of the renovated Park in 2011 and beyond, and it comes a huge and pleasant relief to know that that will be the case. The feeding station has been temporarily relocated to the basement level beneath section 101. Once the construction on the east side is complete, it will be moved back to its original home, beneath what used to be the Fred Meyer Family Deck (and in the future will be a sort of plaza with a team shop, a boardwalk connecting the north and east stands, and a players’ access tunnel). Where the feeding station is now will be completely redone with offices and whatnot, and the old Beavers locker room nearby will be the new Timbers locker room.
I’m hoping to get even greater access to the Park in the coming weeks; it’s likely that once the season is over I’ll have that access (and the need to wear a hard hat!), and can provide even more inside-y looks at the continuing construction. I’m envisioning an interview with the foreman, or something journalistic like that. Check back here weekly for more updates, and enjoy the full set of renovation pics here.