One of Denver’s newest communities, the Lowry neighborhood, was once the Lowry Air Force Base. Named for Lt. Francis B. Lowry, who was killed in aerial combat while serving as an aerial photographer for the U.S. Army during World War I, the base served as a training facility during WWII and the Cold War. It was also the United States Air Force Academy's temporary first site while the permanent campus was being constructed in Colorado Springs. The base closed in 1994 after graduating more than 1.1 million members of the Armed Forces (1).
Presently, the former base is a master-planned community that is vibrant as well as sustainable. The restoration project includes both the preservation of many historic buildings and the addition of new and beautiful architecture. Lowry also boasts more than eighteen pieces of public art, created by artists from across Colorado. Many of these pieces are aviation-themed and recall the unique history of the area. The community also offers 800 acres of neighborhood and regional parks, as well as nature preserve areas. Other amenities include a golf course, ice arena, sports complex, community recreation center with pools, a gym, and year-round activities for residents of all ages. Also in the area is the Colorado Free University (CFU), John Hand Theater (located on the CFU campus), The Soiled Dove Underground concert venue and recording studio, and the Wings Over The Rockies Air and Space museum. The museum offers various activities for the entire family, including Storytime in the Exploration Station, which features volunteer readings of aviation and space stories for children. It also has a flight simulator and aircraft collections, including the B-1A Lancer and B-52 Stratofortress (2).
For those unfamiliar with the Colorado Free University, it is a network for those who wish to remain lifelong learners, add important job and life skills to their repertoire, and carve out an education without sacrificing all of their time money. This institution of learning is one of the few independent and nonaligned campuses remaining in the country. Nightlife wise, The Soiled Dove Underground concert venue is in the basement of The Tavern restaurant and offers shows 2-3 nights a week, and features a state of the art sound system, intimate concert vibe, and several different music types and performers, including jazz, bluegrass, and even comedy shows. Businesses in Lowry are plentiful and diverse. Residents can do their grocery shopping at the local Albertsons and are then only a short walk away from high-end boutique shopping in the Lowry Town Center. A dining district is also in progress, and exciting restaurants are already open for business in the community. One of these is the restaurant North County, which Zagat rated as one of Denver's favorite new restaurants. The rationale behind this choice is North County’s delicious Carne Asada Fries and refreshing alcoholic sodas, in accordance with other tasty dishes. The Lowry Beer Garden has gourmet dogs, burgers, sandwiches, salads, and more, as well as a beer list of almost 50 varieties. Its ambiance is lively, with ping pong tables and TVs located around the restaurant and 4500 square feet of outdoor garden area. There are several Oktoberfest-style picnic tables in the garden area that can play host to hundreds of guests, perpetuating the sentiment of community, geniality, and warmth that the Lowry neighborhood embodies (3).