Monday, March 23, 2015

The US Air Force Cadet Chapel


Last weekend my husband and I accompanied a community club to an outing at the United States Air Force Academy, in Colorado Springs, to attend a brunch held at the officer's club, The Falcon Room. While there, we also went for a quick visit to the Cadet Air Force Chapel--a building I have often seen in photos and wanted to see in person. This iconic Colorado landmark was begun in 1959 and completed in 1963. Its principal designer and architect was Walter A Netsch, a Chicago native. (All photos, and photo collages, will enlarge for easier viewing if clicked on)


The US Air Force Academy is nestled along the scenic front range, east of the Rampart Range of the Rocky Mountains, in an area north of Colorado Springs, Colorado.  It holds a dual role as an Air Force installation and a military academy university for officer candidates for the United States Air Force. The altitude of the campus is 7,258 feet.


The buildings in the cadet area were designed in a modernist style and are set around a large square pavilion known as "The Terrazzo." Portions of the campus are open to the public to tour, and the Cadet Chapel is one of the most popular sites, drawing a half million visitors a year.  The Cadet Chapel's aluminum, glass and steel structure soars more then 150 feet high. Its 17 spires can be easily spotted from Interstate 25, several miles east.


The chapel spires reach toward the deep blue Colorado sky and are very inspiring to see!


The granite steps in front lead to the main level and the Protestant chapel. The Cadet Chapel was designed specifically to house three distinct worship areas under a single roof  The Protestant nave is located on the upper level, while the Catholic and Jewish chapels and a Buddist room are located beneath it. Beneath this level is a larger room used for Islamic services and two meeting rooms that can be utilized for other faiths. Each chapel has its own entrance, and services may be held simultaneously without interfering with one another. There is also an outdoor Earth Centered area called the Falcon Circle.


Inside, the main chapel's soaring roof is illuminated by stained glass windows, and draws ones eyes forward towards the front ...


Where the 46 foot high cross ....


 ...and Italian marble back altar, can be seen.


The side windows are also trimmed with stained glass, and along with the glass in the roof gives the chapel a warm glow.


The ribbons of stained glass keeps changing colors with the light and the effect is mesmerizing.



This photo was taken from the altar, looking towards the narthex in the rear of the chapel, where you can see the choir balcony and organ. The main chapel can seat 1,200 people.


We were also able to visit the Catholic Chapel, which can seat 500 people. It was rimmed by beautiful stained glass windows, which also contained panels depicting the Stations of the Cross.


Of course, the reason for our visit to the Air Force Academy this time was to enjoy a buffet brunch with our community club members in the Falcon Club, where we were treated to a choice of many wonderful entrees. The Falcon club is open to retired and active Air Force and employees of the USAF.

Regretfully, I did not take my Nikon DSLR camera along with me on this visit, as I was not sure if cameras would be allowed on the base, so the photos in this post were taken with my cell phone and a smaller camera. I hope to be able to take a longer visit to the Cadet Chapel in a future post and explore more of the grounds, but I hope you enjoyed this introduction to one of Colorado's most visited man made attractions!

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47 comments:

Jojo said...

Pat, your phone camera took some impressive photos! That chapel is beautiful.

Robert Nicolaescu said...

Beautiful post.
Have a great day!

The Furry Gnome said...

What an amazing building!

SmilingSally said...

Hi Pat,

Wow, you cell phone takes amazing shots!

Happy Blue Monday!

Linda Kay said...

Pat, you couldn't have better pictures, and that chapel is amazing. I'm sure it was a lovely visit.

Barbara said...

The USAFA chapel and cadet area are some of my favorite places in Colorado. We have many family memories made there. No matter what camera a visitor uses, the results are amazing.

LV said...

Thank you for this glorious tour. My son was stationed thee several years ago.

ladyfi said...

Amazing shots of this beauty!

Cathy said...

Your photos are excellent, Pat. What a treat to be able to visit the Academy. And on such a beautiful day, too.

Donna said...

When my sister lived in the Springs we could see the Academy and Pike's Peak from her house on a hill. I never made it over the the Academy. What a stunning chapel inside and out.

Cheryl @ TFD said...

I loved seeing the inside of this chapel, it's beautiful! We were by there nearly 40 years ago and just did a drive-by on our way to Colorado Springs. Our daughter was just 3 years old then. I have wanted to go back again, but we usually stay on Interstate 70 going through the state. Very interesting post, Pat. I enjoyed it very much!

Sam Hoffer / My Carolina Kitchen said...

What an amazing chapel. My husband and I would love to go there sometime. What a treat for us to see this though your camera.
Sam

carol l mckenna said...

Great shots of a magnificent chapel ~ It is awesome and bet you had a delightful time!

Happy Week to you,
artmusedog and carol

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

You took amazing pictures with that phone! Thank you for the tour of a place I'll never be able to visit in person. Enjoyed it.

Fun60 said...

What an impressive building.

Judith @ Lavender Cottage said...

What a unique and modern chapel...all taken with your phone!
Thanks for linking to Mosaic Monday Pat.

happywonderer.com said...

Pretty nice photos with your phone, Pat! How nice to be able to visit here!

Al said...

A nice tour of this iconic chapel. I've posted on it several times, as it's a great photographic subject - my most recent captures of it were at night. The organ is fully functional, I've seen an organ recital there recently. I've never had an issue bringing my DSLR (and bag full of lenses) to the Academy, but better safe than sorry :)

Jim said...

Amazing chapel.

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

We so enjoyed our visit to that very place a few years ago!

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

Great post. I spent a long weekend way back when and I really loved the campus and the chapel. The cadets and the teachers were very nice also.

Annesphamily said...

My friend Sherrie's son-in-law was stationed there about 6 years ago! It was wonderful to visit with them because we live so close! My father was a life long Notre Dame football fan and we watched many games there at the AFA! Ah...I was able to see Joe Montana play against AF twice in his college career and I think my nephew still has a football signed by him! It is situated in such a way you can see it from the highway! Thanks for sharing.

Jill Harrison said...

wow what amazing architecture on this church. I was amazed it was built so long ago. It looks very modern. I love all the lines and shapes.
Have a great week and thank you for stopping by my blog this week.

Jill Harrison said...

wow what amazing architecture on this church. I was amazed it was built so long ago. It looks very modern. I love all the lines and shapes.
Have a great week and thank you for stopping by my blog this week.

Deborah Kay at The Paint Splash said...

Love this chapel. The inside shots are amazing. have a blessed week.

Rajesh said...

Beautiful shots. The structure of Cadet Air Force Chapel very unique.

Ann said...

We were there several years ago at the Academy, my hubby loved it because he is an Air Force Vet. We were just in Colorado Springs last week on Spring Break. The blues are beautiful.
Ann

Anne Campbell said...

What a beautiful chapel. You got some great pictures of the details. Thanks for sharing!

Light and Voices said...

Oh my goodness this is my first time seeing this amazing chapel. What an experience for you and your husband. Looks like you both had a fun time.
JM, IL

Linda (More Fun Less Laundry) said...

Pat, This is on my list of things to see when we travel after retirement. It is a favorite stop of our Boy Scouts when they go to the Philmont Scout Ranch in NM, and I have a wonderful photo of my husband and two kids in Scout uniforms (my daughter was a Venture Scout) standing inside the Chapel. Your photos are so amazing, with the light coming through the stained glass!! I'm looking forward to seeing more when you return to the grounds! Linda

Vee said...

Your phone did a great job! That is a very impressive building.

Vee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
New Jersey Memories said...

That's an impressive building. Interesting that so many faiths can worship there. I really learned a lot from this post, and your photos were great!

Gracie said...

A place my husband would surely enjoy!

Marie said...

Wonderful shots even without your bigger camera! We have been to there and enjoyed our visit--it was quite a few years ago! Great shots of the base itself, and I loved all the creative views of the Chapel!

Amelia Googles Sharon-Stein Wilson said...

very powerful air force and chapel.

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Sylvia said...

Pat, The chapel building is absolutely wonderful. Love the stained glass. The white angels in the Catholic chapel are especially nice. Thanks for sharing
Sylvia D

Don Wood said...

That is a beautiful and wonderful place. Love the photos, thank you for sharing them with us. XX Don



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eileeninmd said...

Hello Pat, what a beautiful chapel. I love both the inside and the outside, lovely photos. Thanks for sharing your visit.. Have a happy weekend!

Spare Parts and Pics said...

Thanks for the tour. The architecture is amazing!

The Gathering Place said...

What a beautiful chapel. The stained glass is especially pretty.

Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl said...

Thanks for sharing your visit with us! Always fun to see where others go.

Felicia said...

wow the stained glass windows are amazing and what a beautiful chapel it is.

GRØNN FRYD HOS MONIQUE - said...

Fascinating and most interesting about this church and architecture!

GRØNN FRYD HOS MONIQUE - said...

Fascinating and most interesting church and architecture!

Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow said...

This is just stunning. So different and quite beautiful!