The historic Stapleton Airport Control Tower has a bright future ahead


By: Skylar Colclazier

The former Stapleton Airport Control Tower has been chosen as the next Punch Bowl Social site. The decision to reinvent the control tower with a new purpose, while maintaining its integrity as a landmark in the city, has been of great importance for the Stapleton redevelopment.

Transforming the former aviation beacon into an arena of fun and nightlife activity has been a carefully vetted process since the project’s conception. The Stapleton community and surrounding neighborhoods will not only benefit from recreational activities; they will also be able to enjoy the preservation and revitalization of an historic landmark.

In a recent CBS article, the CEO of Punch Bowl Social, Robert Thompson, explained that if they had opted to destroy the building they, “…would’ve sacrificed their reputation, and the history of the building,” (How America’s abandoned…”). Becky Stone, managing partner at Oz Architecture, has spearheaded the redesign of the building with a goal to maintain the character of the control tower.

The Stapleton Control Tower is a unique renovation endeavor; however, the importance of revitalizing character-rich places while incorporating historic preservation is gaining popularity. For example, an airport terminal in Steamboat Springs is now the headquarters for SmartWool; and the Floyd Bennett Field in New York City, once the most active airports in the U.S., is now the Gateway National Recreation Area (How America’s abandoned…”). These abandoned airport sites, such as Stapleton International Airport and others, have been activated with community needs and public uses.

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