2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner

Air Force Academy celebrates 50 years of iconic chapel

Published: September 19, 2013, 12:00 pm, by Tom Roeder

U.S. Air Force Academy Class of 2017 Basic Cadet TrainingThe Air Force Academy this Sunday will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the dedication of its cadet chapel with a special church service.

The chapel is one of the most identifiable landmarks in Colorado. It was completed in 1962, and had its dedication, a religious rite consecrating its purpose, a year later.

As designed by renowned architect Walter Netsch, the chapel was supposed to have 19 spires. It was finished with just 17.  The difference? Congressional budget cuts.

Under the spires, the chapel has rooms to host protestant, Catholic, Jewish and Buddhist¬† services. On a nearby hill, the academy has built an outdoor chapel for “earth-centered” faiths.

The public is invited to the 2 p.m. event Sunday at the chapel, which can be reached through the academy’s north gate.

The ceremony will feature a speech from Maj. Gen. Howard Stendahl, the Air Force’s chief of chaplains.