Hangar 61

About Us

Stapleton Church launched in 2007 and began meeting at the Denver School of Science and Technology. In 2011, we purchased and remodeled Hangar 61.

 

Hangar 61 - Always About “The Journey”

Hangar 61 was built in 1959 to house the Fairchild F-27 turboprop airliner that the Ideal Basic Cement Company used. Its unique thin-shell concrete construction and other architectural features make it a one-of-a kind building. The build-out of the interior structure, which was simply a shell when we acquired it, is in itself a rare architectural feat, a “building within a building.” It is a privilege to put this magnificent structure to work serving the spiritual needs of Northeast Denver residents.

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Hangar 61 Timeline

1959

  • Initial design and construction customized for a Fairchild F-29 corporate jet

  • Designed by renowned architect Milo Ketchum

  • Built for Ideal Basic Cement Company by Fisher & Fisher with a unique thin-shell concrete design (100% concrete construction) and a tension/suspension roof

1959-1994

  • Ideal Cement uses Hangar 61 to house and service its plane

  • Vacated with closing of Stapleton International Airport

1995-2004

  • Building sits vacant, deteriorates

2004

  • Colorado Preservation, Inc. purchases Hangar 61, saves it from destruction

2005-2009

  • Developer Larry Nelson restores the building to its original luster

  • Extensive cleaning and structural restoration, including environmental cleanup

  • Glasswork enclosing hangar doors

  • Search for a buyer begins

2010

  • Stapleton Church purchases restored Hangar 61

  • Development Advisors of Denver is secured as the project manager

  • Visioneering Studios of Irvine, CA is secured as the project architect

  • Fransen Pittman of Englewood is secured as the contractor

  • Building plans are carefully coordinated to retain historical integrity

  • Work on internal build-out commences

April 2011

  • Construction of Stapleton Church’s build-out is completed

  • April 16: Open Doors Denver 2011

  • April 17: First public worship gathering at Hangar 61

 

From the Architect

A unique barrel shell is the hangar for the Ideal Cement Company. At that time, they produced a lightweight aggregate and wished to demonstrate the possibilities for construction of shells. We used a structure, square in plan, with abutments at two corners with a rear wall supporting the shell on two of the sides, and an arch, broken at the middle, to carry the structure above the doors. Also there was a stiffening rib from abutment to abutment. The front arch was not continuous, and created a tensile force on the shell which was carried by prestressing cables across the top. The structure acts essentially as a short barrel shell, and is in compression, the only difference is that there is no beam element at the base. We considered using a hyperbolic paraboloid, but rejected it because of the difficulty of forming, and inability of the structure to take the tensile forces caused by the broken arch. The hangar fitted the airplane like a glove, and was a handsome structure when the hangar doors were open, but was rather box-like when they were closed. - Milo Ketchum

The Fairchild F-27 owned by the Ideal Cement Company and housed in Hangar 61 - circa 1960 at SFO

The Fairchild F-27 owned by the Ideal Cement Company and housed in Hangar 61 - circa 1960 at SFO