Such is the magic of architecture that it can convert places of serious business to attractive tourist destinations as well. The United States Air force Academy, which stands on an area of 18,500 acres in the northern part of Colorado Springs in Colorado, USA, has a Chapel for cadets whose amazing structure does exactly so as mentioned above.
The chapel, better known as United States Air Force Cadet Chapel, was built with an idea of providing some quite prayer space for multiple religions like Christianity, Buddhism, and Islam. It was designed by architect Walter A. Netsch and got completed in 1963. In addition to fulfilling its purpose and offering the prayer space to the cadets, it has also become a tourist attraction of Colorado which gets more than half million people annually.
The reason for which the United States Air Force Cadet Chapel has received such popularity is because of its outstanding structure which is made of aluminium, steel, and glass. The most attractive feature of the entire structure is its 17 spires which can never go unnoticed. While the skeleton of the United States Air Force Cadet Chapel is made of steel, it is panelled inside with aluminium and filled with normal or coloured glasses. Apart from this, the 150 metre high structure has separate prayer rooms for each religion and has multiple entry points as well. While approaching the front entrance of the United States Air Force Cadet Chapel there is a staircase made of granite which has hand rails made from steel and covered by aluminium. The rest of the adornments of the chapel along with the neighbouring empty spaces have been the contributions from a number of other companies and people.
In terms of the prayer areas, there are separate spaces for Protestants, Jews, Catholics, Buddhists and those following Islam. There are also rooms called All Faith rooms which are used by people who follow other religious sects apart from those mentioned above. There are separate timings of prayers in each of these sections which do not interfere with one another. Thus, the initiatives which was taken by the people believing in the concepts of Earth-Centred Spirituality and who were also there in the Air Force Academy is now a well appreciated devotional as well as scenic structure.
The importance of this chapel in the Air Force Academy is that while the young minds get trained in becoming the protector of lives and leaders as well, they are also trained to develop a strong spiritual sense. Tourists can take a tour of the United States Air Force Cadet Chapel all week from Monday to Saturdays and also on Sundays but at a different time by taking permission from the Cadet Chapel Public Relations. There are also schedules which do not require permissions. Lastly, the United States Air Force Cadet Chapel is also available for occasions like weddings and similar ones.