Colorado Air Force Academy Chapel

by Melissa Giesen

Built with Cadets

The Cadet Chapel is the most popular man-made attraction in Colorado, with more than a half million visitors every year! Groundbreaking began on the iconic landmark August 28, 1959, and was completed in 1963 at a cost of $3.5 million!! Candidates are judged based on their academic achievement. To gain admission, candidates must also pass a fitness test. Classes have about 1,400 cadets; just under 1,000 of those usually make it through to graduation. Cadets pay no tuition, but are committed to serve a number of years in the military service after graduation.


The Cadet Chapel's principal designer and architect was Walter A. Netsch Jr. A Chicago native, Mr. Netsch studied architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, receiving his degree in 1943 and joining the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He was 34 when he completed the design for the chapel.The chapel's aluminum, glass and steel structure soars more than 150 feet into the Colorado sky. Its 17 spires can be easily spotted from Interstate 25, several miles east.