Hangar 61

July 27, 2012
Hangar 61
Stapleton Fellowship Church
8700 E. 21st Street
Denver, CO 80220
6PM-8PM 

About Hangar 61

Hangar 61 was constructed in 1956 within the former Stapleton International Airport complex; this unique 9,400 square foot cement structure is an example of how sophisticated engineering can make an innovative architectural design a reality.  This hyperbolic parabaloid was designed by Fisher, Fisher, and Davis, and engineered by Milo Ketchum, a Denver engineer of national renown.  33 feet at its apex, the thin shell concrete arch is diamond-shaped and spans 160 feet, without center supports.  This hangar is unlike any of the others that remain from the old Stapleton Airport.

When nominated to the Colorado’s Most Endangered Places List in 2005, the Hangar was threatened by the City of Denver who was under contract to sell the property for development. The developers threatened to demolish the “eyesore,” once they acquired the property.

In 2006, Hangar 61 was listed on the State Register of Historic Properties and a partnership was formed between Colorado Preservation, Inc. and 620 Corp. LLC of Denver.  This partnership took the option to purchase the property and developers Larry Nelson and Ruth Falkenberg renovated the building in 2009 with help from Colorado Preservation, Inc. and the State Historical Fund.  In 2010 the Stapleton Fellowship Church bought the property and invested funds to make the structure suitable for a house of worship. Far from hiding the Hangar’s original use the ministry embraces the structure, using the transportation building’s history as a metaphor for the church’s mission.

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Featured Project

4 Bar 4 Ranch

Homesteaded in 1895 by Dick McQueary to provide a stop for the Georgetown Stage Line, the 320-acre 4 Bar 4 Ranch has strong ties to Grand County and Colorado's heritage. The Georgetown Stage Line traveled on the road through the 4 Bar 4 Ranch from Idaho Springs to Hot Sulphur Springs over Berthoud Pass. In 1895 a roadhouse and stage stop were constructed on the ranch. The hotel and barn were constructed using trees from the Ranch property, and the hotel remained open for travelers coming over Berthoud Pass by horseback and wagon until 1913. With the coming of the automobile, the roadway over Berthoud Pass and through the 4 Bar 4 Ranch was considered an integral part of the Trans-Continental “Midland Trail” highway. Following the closing of the stage line, the ranch continued to host travelers until 1912 or 1913 when it was purchased and converted into a Ford Motor Company . Ford vehicles were sold here until 1917, when Harry Larkin purchased the ranch site. Today emergency efforts are underway to ensure it survives through the winter. Donations are in need. To learn more, contact Jennifer Orrigo Charles at jorrigocharlges@coloradopreservation.org.

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