Colorado Preservation Closes on Stapleton Icon Hangar 61 Rehab Work to Begin Immediately to Enable Commercial Use
Denver, Colo. – One of the best examples of 1950s aviation architecture, Hangar 61 at the former Stapleton Airport, will get a new lease on life, thanks to the perseverance of Colorado Preservation, Inc., real estate developer Larry Nelson, Forest City/Stapleton, and community activists.
Hangar 61 was in danger of demolition because no buyer could be found until Colorado Preservation was able to land a grant from the Colorado Historical Society’s State Historical Fund to cover the $194,825 purchase price. The building comes with 1.241 acres of valuable land located at the corner of Central Park Boulevard and 21st Avenue in Stapleton.
The State Historical Fund granted another $200,000 to stabilize the structure. Colorado Preservation has to match 25 percent of both grants. Nelson formed Hangar 61, LLC, to work with Colorado Preservation on the renovation and redevelopment of the property. Once complete, they will sell the building to an end-user.
Nelson said that Martin/Martin Consulting Engineers have designed a solution for the structural repairs that the building needs. Once stabilization of the building is complete, Nelson’s company will repair the exterior, add landscaping and a parking lot. Hangar 61 has 9,000 square feet of usable space, and a mezzanine will be added for another 4,500 square feet. Further plans for completing the interior depend on the desires of the final buyer.
Mark Rodman, executive director of Colorado Preservation, said, “Colorado Preservation’s purchase of Hangar 61 is a win-win for all stakeholders. The Stapleton community keeps an important symbol of the airport that adds character to the neighborhood. The architectural and preservation community is able to retain a building whose mid-20th Century design and use of thin-shell concrete was unique,” he continued.
“Hangar 61 demonstrates our belief that older buildings with cultural and historical significance can serve the community indefinitely when we work to find contemporary uses for them,” said Rodman.
Designed by architects Fisher and Fisher and Davis with engineer Milo Ketchum, Hangar 61 was built in 1959 for the corporate airplanes of Ideal Basic Cement Co. When Stapleton Airport closed, the site was acquired by the City and County of Denver which sold it to developer Forest City/Stapleton. Colorado Preservation finalized its acquisition on November 1.
Once the building is occupied and Landmark status finalized, Colorado Preservation will donate a preservation easement to Historic Denver, Inc., to ensure that Hangar 61 is preserved for generations to come.
About Colorado Preservation
Colorado Preservation, Inc. is a statewide organization dedicated to promoting and advancing historic preservation in Colorado. Founded in 1984, Colorado Preservation, Inc., is Colorado’s only statewide, privately funded, non-profit historic preservation organization. Colorado Preservation, Inc. is partners with the Colorado Historical Society, The National Trust for Historic Preservation and various local organizations in its efforts to preserve Colorado’s Heritage. Colorado Preservation, Inc. was the recipient of the 2006 Trustee’s Award for Organizational Excellence from the National Trust for Historic Preservation. For more information, please visit http://www.coloradopreservation.org.