Building Index – Building 1499

Building 1499

8580 E. Lowry Blvd
Denver, CO 80230
[GPS N39°43’15.8400″, W104°53’11.5200”]

Building 1499, The Air Force’s Department of Aerospace Munitions Special Weapons Training, previously known to many of Lowry AFB’s previous residents as ”The Black Hangar,” was repurposed after Lowry AFB’s closure in 1994 and re-emerged as the “Big Bear Ice Arena.”

High security gave this large hangar-like building the nickname of the “Black Shack” during the war years. When opened in 1954 Building 1499 was assigned the role as a training site for various “sensitive” weapon systems…and the tools used to work with them.

The first building sold to the private sector after the base closed, 1499 underwent massive renovations resulting in a completely remodeled interior featuring two ice arenas, and became known as “Big Bear.” It is situated at the north end of the Sports Complex and is easily visible from nearly anywhere in Lowry with its stand-alone hangar look.

#1. Building 1499, the “Black Hangar.” Special Weapons Training was once taught in this secure environment known then simply as the “Black Hangar,” which has been repurposed and is known today as the “Big Bear Ice Arena”.

#2. Building 1499’s B-52 Load Trainer, teaching students how to load nuclear weapons aboard a SAC B-52 bomber.
#3. Department of Aerospace Munitions Training. Special Weapons Training, Building 1499, in the use of Special Handling Cranes. Note items covered either for security reasons while photos were bing taken…or for equipment protection from the elements.
#4. Department of Aerospace Munitions Training, Building 1499, where students learn the art and science of mating re-entry vehicles (warheads) onto their missile transports.
#5. Lowry’s “Black Hangar,” aka “The Black Shack,” was the home of Special Weapons Training conducted in a strictly enforced high security environment, and was repurposed as the Big Bear Ice Arena.
#6. The Big Bear Ice Arena.