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Historic airport chapel

The historic World War II-era chapel near the entrance to Sioux Gateway Airport in Sioux City is pictured.

SIOUX CITY -- The Sioux City Council approved a memorandum of agreement Monday between the city, the Federal Aviation Administration and the Iowa State Historic Preservation Office for the proposed removal of a World War II chapel and airmen's housing project on land owned by Sioux Gateway Airport.

Located at 2812 Niobrara Ave., the small white chapel currently anchors the entrance of Sioux Gateway Airport and remains one of the last standing remnants of Sioux City's World War II air base.

According to city documents, two parcels of airport land containing the chapel and residential housing are developed with land use not compatible with either the operations of the airport and aren't within current city zoning regulations.

The chapel has been vacant for the past several years.

Assistant City Manager Mike Collett said the city has proposed removing the chapel and residential housing while selling the two parcels of partially developed airport property. 

Specifically, he said the chapel would be relocated off of airport property with a nonprofit group taking ownership of the chapel and maintaining it at a new location.

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Collett said the nearby Mid America Museum of Aviation and Transportation has been approached in taking ownership but they declined the offer.

Despite that, Councilman Dan Moore would like to see a nonprofit group use the chapel as a World War II memorial that would be available for public event rentals.

"Many people have good memories of the chapel," he said. "As a piece of Sioux City history, we'd like to see the building used as either a chapel or as a World War II memorial."   

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