Air Force Academy
You would think I captured this photo in the middle of winter, but I shot this last Thursday! And its May!
A fellow architectural photographer, Tim Furlong from Louisville, Kentucky, was in town and I took him down to visit the Air Force Academy and its iconic Cadet Chapel. An old high school friend of mine is an instructor at USAFA and was kind enough of to give us a great tour of the campus. I captured this photograph from the plaza area that is not open to the public, making this composition with the mountains in the background extra special for me.
The modernist chapel was designed by Walter Natesch of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill of Chicago and completed in 1962. The tetrahedron design was of course controversial at its time, but not anymore as the chapel is the most visited building in all of Colorado. I am embarrassed to admit, I have lived here in Colorado for twelve years and this was my first visit to this architectural masterpiece! Can you believe it?!
The chapel is made up of 17 spires, resembling fighter planes reaching for the heavens. The design originally called for 21, symbolizing flying into the 21st century, but was reduced to 17 due to budget constraints. The joke at the academy is the 17 spires represent the 12 Apostles and the 5 chiefs of staff.
The chapel is due to undergo a major renovation starting this September, so I will definitely be back this summer for a sunnier and warmer visit!