United States Air Force Academy
A visit to the Cadet Chapel was a major part of Snowcatcher's and my day of riding bicycles at the Air Force Academy. The following photos were acquired with a small Olympus point-and-shoot I bicycle with. I didn't use the flash, and I tried to catch the ambient light radiating from the stained glass. Consequently, some shots are a bit on the grainy side. To remedy this, Snowcatcher and I are conjuring up a plan to reshoot with a real camera, in the hands of a real photographer; that being Snowcatcher. Nonetheless, I hope you enjoy them!
Cadet Chapel standing proud
The Cadet Chapel is an all-faith house of worship. There is a separate chapel for each of the major faiths representative of the cadet student body. The main chapels are Protestant, Catholic and Jewish. In addition, there is a small Buddhist Chapel and an All-Faiths Room. The upper main level is the Protestant Chapel, with other Chapels directly below.
The Chapel was designed by Walter A. Netsch, Jr., of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill Architectural Firm. The following entities were enlisted by the Air Force to maintain design approval; the General Commission on Chaplains in the Armed Services represented Protestants; the Roman Catholic Military Ordinariate monitored Catholic interests; and the National Jewish Welfare Board represented the Jewish faith.
Robert E. McKee, Inc., of Santa Fe, New Mexico, was the contractor. The building took 5 years of planning, followed by 4 years of construction. There is no meaning associated with the 17 spires of aluminum, glass and steel. The number 17 was the result of cost. Construction began 28 August 1959. The chapel was signed-off the summer of 1963. The chapel shell and surrounding grounds cost $3.5 million.
Stained glass provides ribbons of color throughout the chapels. Ceiling stained glass colors run dark to light to represent coming from darkness into the light of God.
The Protestant Chapel has 1,200 seats, with a 120-seat choir loft and pipe organ. The Catholic Chapel seats 500, with an 80-seat choir loft and pipe organ. The Jewish Chapel holds 100 worshipers.
Protestant pipe organ
The Catholic Chapel also was very ornate...
...with beautiful stained glass and art work.
If anyone messes with the Academy, there is a squadron of these bad boys within spitting distance. If you're a bad-guy, good luck!