DENVER (CBS4)– Since Stapleton International Airport closed 17 years ago the old control tower has sat empty and unused. Instead of runways, the tower is surrounded by new homes and businesses.

Now, neighbors are banding together to try to give the tower a repurposed life in their planned community.

The tower stands behind a dilapidated chain link fence with rusting danger signs. It stands as an iconic symbol of the past.

JoNell Herndon heads the loosely formed group the Stapleton Tower Committee.

“It could be a non-profit, a business, a for-profit business, a community organization, arts, this end of town doesn’t have as much from a performing arts or galleries,” said Herndon. “Of course, office space is also on the table, restaurants.”

People interested in the future of the tower have been meeting to discuss the possible uses for the landmark and how to fund the projects.

“It is within a residential community so we do have to say, ‘Okay, how does traffic impact things? How does lighting? How do we handle parking?'” said Herndon.

The tower and the land it sits on is owned by Denver International Airport. Reaction is mixed on the structure’s future.

“I think the tower should be left up and used for business purposes, it’s kind of an historical building and I would like to see it stay,” said one Stapleton resident.

Some see the tower as an eyesore and want it torn down.

“It also could be an historical landmark. It can be utilized for something positive, so if it can, that would be great,” said another Stapleton resident. “But if not, it should come down.”

There are no imminent plans to sell the property. Herndon hopes to have plans in place for the tower sometime this year.

To get updates on the tower email JoNell Herndon of the Stapleton Tower Project at

Comments (2)
  1. ToCheapToGetRepairs says:

    I think it would be a cool place to have a resturuant.

  2. David Whittle says:

    I thought the city was supposed to be looking at ways to use the tower–ever since the airport moved

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