SN: I wouldn’t have guessed this type of reuse and that’s what makes this so great. That other structures have been easily dismissed as candidates for adaptive reuse?
Adaptive reuse, design in the former Stapleton Airport air traffic control tower
In 1995, Denver shuttered the Stapleton International Airport. For about two decades, its old air traffic control tower stood vacant while new homes, restaurants and businesses grew up around it into what is now one of the largest urban redevelopment sites in the country. Approximately two years ago, Denver restaurateur Robert Thompson – the creative inspiration behind the hip social nightlife brand, Punch Bowl Social – announced that he would breathe new life to the highly visible historic air control tower as his 10th Punch Bowl Social location in the country (and second location in Colorado). Additionally, the company will relocate its corporate headquarters into the tower.
A minority of locals was perplexed as to why Stapleton chose to keep an abandoned airport tower rather than demolish it to make additional space for housing or commercial development. However, other neighbors and City Council members had plenty of ideas for ways the tower could be used, and they enthusiastically supported an adaptive reuse project that would keep the airport legacy of Stapleton and preserve the character of the neighborhood. Denver has a strong foundation in adaptive reuse and historic preservation, so it’s no surprise the Stapleton community as eager to find a solution for the tower. However, finding the right purpose and a willing project owner is easier said than done.
In fact, the challenge of what to do with abandoned airports is not uncommon. Denver is among many cities that have shuttered airports over the years. According to CBS News, every state in the U.S. has at least one abandoned tower or airport, many of which have been replaced by new, larger airports with advanced amenities and more room for growth.
Cities around the world have found uses for old airport buildings: New York’s former Galeville Military Airfield, once buzzing with activity during World War II, is now a wildlife refuge. London’s Croydon Airport closed in 1959, but the original terminal building has since been repurposed as a museum and visitor center. Kai Tak International Airport in Hong Kong closed in 1998, and portions of the former runway have since been successfully transformed into a cruise ship terminal – adapting the idea of travel and tourism from air to sea.
These examples showcase the myriad ways airports can be used, but also highlight how different Punch Bowl Social is in adopting a project of this scale. Unlike many other airport projects, Denver’s reuse will not be a city-funded municipal effort, but an investment by a private company with a broad vision. With this project, Thompson is providing Denver with the opportunity to be a national leader in airport reuse.
So at Denver International Airport there’s this terrifying statue of a blue horse with glowing red eyes that everyone’s pretty much convinced is Satan and in Terminal C there’s a big, blown up picture of his face for whatever reason. And….
SWEET ZOMBIE JESUS IT’S EVEN MORE HORRIFYING UP CLOSE!!!!!
After Jeremy and Veronica had both recovered–Veronica was still having to be careful, but her new organs worked perfectly–1029 had been sad to see Jeremy go back to England, if only to take care of a few things. Soon the man would be mostly living with them, he had to remind himself. And now that they were able to do shows again, 1029 had to focus on getting his body more healthy, and on his act.
But a month after Jeremy left, 1029 was waiting in the Colorado airport for him, to excited to even care about the stares he was being given. As soon as he saw his boyfriend, he hurried forward with his oxygen tank in tow behind him, to embrace the man tightly.