Saturday, December 08, 2012

Stapleton Airport's Tower, Then and Now

A mild day here in the great state of Colorado.  The weather guessers are calling for up to two inches of snow for the Denver Metro area tomorrow but I have my doubts.

I was meeting with fellow Uralista Tim L to deliver some items to him and he picked the Dick's Sporting Goods Sports Park near the junction of 56th Street and Valentia Drive.  I got there just a few minutes before Tim did and found him easily enough.

Items delivered, he and I chatted for a bit.  Before long though we'd said our goodbyes and he headed back north towards Longmont and I headed south for a bit to the site of the old Stapleton Airport's Control tower.  Stapleton Airport was Denver's main airport before it was decommissioned and Denver International Airport took its place.



The sprawling international airport that was Stapleton is no more.  Little remains of the large complex except for short segments of runway and of course, today's riding destination, the airport's control tower.

I was riding Brigitta, my 1987 R80 BMW Airhead today, as the weather was really nice though the temperature was only in the low 50s.  The sun was out and it made this mild fall/winter season we'd been having a rider's dream.  I was trying to replicate two photographs I'd found via Google, under the Then and Now motif.

source: Google
Stapleton International Airport circa 1980s

Stapleton Airport's Control Tower, 2012

Stapleton Airport, judging by the parked cars, circa 1960s?

Stapleton Airport Control Tower, 2012

Some more shots I found via Google, giving you a look at the airport back in its heyday:


 Source: Airliners.net
Back in the day, one of Stapleton's runways crossed over the I-70 highway.
It must have caused congestion, each time a big aircraft like the one above crossed
the highway!

Another view of the control tower, when it was in active service.
source: aviationphotographs.net

All around the tower today, it is new housing composed of single family homes and apartment complexes.  All new looking and tastefully done for the most part.  The city's Central Park is located near the tower as well for local residents.

I rode home in dropping temperatures as the sun sank closer and closer to the horizon.  It was in the mid-40s as I entered the garage, so maybe it'll get cold enough overnight to create snow....if there's enough moisture in the clouds that I saw lining the tops of the front range mountains to the west of Denver.



5 comments:

RichardM said...

I remember crossing over the highway when flying in and out of Denver what is now way back when. It doesn't seem like that long ago but it was in the 1970's. I guess for some, that is a long time ago. Now I feel old..

SonjaM said...

I love those then and now picures. I wish I had paid more attention to changing landscapes and architecture when I was younger. I am more aware now, and history of places interest me more now.

Charlie6 said...

RichardM: Instead of feeling old, just think of it as a reminder when things were less complicated.....thanks for the visit and comments.

SonjaM, glad you like these then and now shots....thanks to you as well for visiting.

Circle Blue said...

Like Richard, I'm feeling...less complicated.

I, too, enjoyed the then and now pictures.

Thanks,
~Keith

Charlie6 said...

Thanks Circle Blue, glad you liked them.