Building Index – Buildings 363 and 364

Buildings 363 and 364

Located between 1st Place and 4th Avenue,
Randall Street & Rosemary Court.
[GPS 39°43’21.81″N x 104°53’47.88″W]

Lowry Field, the predecessor to Lowry AFB (closed in 1994) as we currently know it, had its main entrance located at 6th Avenue & Quebec. However, Lowry Field was not always to be found at this location.

The first Lowry Field consisted of property taken over by the Colorado Air National Guard and dedicated in 1924, having its southern boundary located along 38 th Avenue between Dahlia and Holly Streets. The Airport Directory Company’s 1933 “Airports Directory” (courtesy of Chris Kennedy) described Lowry National Guard’s airfield as being located “4 miles northeast of the State Capitol Building.” The Union Pacific Railroad was said to have formed the Northern boundary of the Lowry Field, which consisted of 2,300 square feet of sod. Its southern hangar had the words “Denver, CO Lowry Field” painted on its roof.

A new airfield was dedicated by the Army Air Corp in 1937 which was also assigned the name “Lowry Field.” This new facility was constructed on the site heretofore known as the Agnes Phipps Memorial Sanatorium, having its main entrance at 6 th Avenue and Quebec. The two “Lowry Fields” maintained simultaneous operations for another year until 1938 when the original Lowry Field at Dahlia & 38 th Streets was inactivated by the National Guard. The property was subsequently leased by the Combs Aircraft Corp.

The original Colorado National Guard’s “Lowry Field” continued as a civilian airfield, renamed “Combs Field.” Combs Field, from an AAF 1943-1945 circa photo, is seen to have had 3 unpaved sand runways along with a few small buildings along its west side, including two hangars.

In 1938 two hangars from the original Lowry Field at 38th & Dahlia were moved to their new location at the AAF’s Lowry Field located at 6th and Quebec. These buildings were numbered 363 and 366.

The Original Lowry Field 1924-1938

#1. Denver Colorado’s Lowry Field, located at 38th & Dahlia, circa 1926. As Lowry Field had a relatively short runway, a sign was posted on the hangar building admonishing pilots to “Use it all!” Click the “Photo” icon below to display a Google Earth snapshot of Lowry Field’s boundaries.

#2. 28 October 1926: The Josephine Ford Byrd Arctic Expedition’s Fokker BA-1 Triplane being refueled at original Lowry Field. [ Source ]

#3. A 31 August 1927 photo of Charles Lindbergh arriving in his Ryan-built “Spirit of St. Louis” aircraft at original Lowry Field. [ Source ]

#4. Circa 1930’s: Photo of a Douglas O-2 from the Colorado National Guard’s 120th Aero Observation Squadron, shown in front of a row of Boeing P-12 fighters lined up for an air show at the original Lowry Field at Dahlia and 38th Avenue. [ Source ]

#5. 2005: An old Combs Aircraft Corporation hangar at original Lowry Field location. [ Frank Niehus ]

#6. By 1938 two of the original Lowry Field’s hangars had been moved to the new Lowry Field location at Denver’s 6th & Quebec Street location. This 2006 photo shows an aerial view looking west at the remains of Combs Aircraft Corporation’s facilities built on the 1938 deactivated Colorado National Guard’s Lowry Field property. [ Source ]

The New Lowry Field 1938-1948

#7. 20 July 1938: Lowry’s original hangars under construction (four black-roofed buildings, center-photo). Notice the Phipps Sanatorium buildings in the upper- left area of the photo. These buildings were utilized as the original Lowry Field Headquarters and select training facilities. [Wings]
#8. 1938: Original Phipps property and associated hangars, Lowry Field, 1938. [Wings]
#9. 1939: Lowry Field buildings, 31 Aug 1939, showing original hangars on the right-side of the photo, and the first of the newly-built hangars on the bottom left-side of photo. You can see in the enlarged photo the presence of the “tent city” just above the four hangar buildings. [Wings]
#10. 1985 Map showing location of Lowry’s original hangars, buildings 363 and 366, along with buildings 362 and 365 which served multiple purposes from hangar to dinning hall, gymnasium and church, in relation to buildings 401 (The Wings over the Rockies Air & Space Museum) and Building 349. [Wings]
#11. November 8th, 2016: The area looking northwest towards building 361, the Steam Plant, from East 1st Place between Spruce and Rosemary Streets, where Lowry Field’s old hangar buildings 363 and 366, and hangar/maintenance shops buildings 362 and 365 once existed. This area has been repurposed for use by the Denver International School. [George Blood]