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Bob McIntyre: Shooting stars 

Monument Branch library offers snapshot of a half-century at The Broadmoor

click to enlarge Photos by Bob McIntyre
  • Photos by Bob McIntyre

As official photographer for The Broadmoor since 1949, Bob McIntyre has met and photographed hundreds of famous guests. As you might suspect, he's not short on stories.

But McIntyre's favorites don't necessarily involve the biggest names, but those celebrities who were simply kind, like '60s Olympic gold medalist and figure skater Peggy Fleming.

"She remembered me and said hello every time she came back to the hotel," recalls McIntyre, who will turn 80 on Jan. 4.

Recently, McIntyre donated his negatives to Pikes Peak Library District's Special Collections Department. Photo archivist Nancy Thaler says she's counted 40,000 individual negatives so far, and estimates the collection will eventually number in the hundreds of thousands. It's from that vast collection that the Monument Branch library has culled a small display of McIntyre's work.

While McIntyre is widely known for his shots of celebrities lining the walls of Broadmoor West, he's also chronicled community events throughout Colorado Springs.

"Bob's work spans 50 years and covers a huge chunk of our history," says PPLD Special Collections librarian Tim Blevins.

Among his subjects, McIntyre captured firefighters in 1950s, zoo animals and drivers at the Pikes Peak Hill Climb.

click to enlarge Photos by Bob McIntyre
  • Photos by Bob McIntyre

McIntyre began taking photos in the mid-'40s as a student attending Colorado Springs High School (now Palmer High School). He continued snapping for Pikes Peak Photography, a local photo outfit, until 1949, when he got the job as the official Broadmoor photographer. He was 21 at the time.

McIntyre later freelanced for the Rocky Mountain News and got prints into publications like Life magazine, The New York Times and the Washington Post. In June 1963, the Rocky asked McIntyre to photograph President John F. Kennedy, who was visiting the old North American Aerospace Defense Command site (now the Olympic Training Center).

"I was the first one there with a camera," he says. "Once the press corps showed up, there were three or four hundred of us."

The Post saw McIntyre's Rocky photo and picked it up.

In another famous photo, cadets are lined up in formation for the first graduation from the Air Force Academy in 1959. McIntyre and his wife Roberta, a reporter for the Rocky, were standing behind the cadets when three of them passed out from the heat. The surrounding cadets "stepped aside about a foot so they could stay in formation," says McIntyre. Life picked up the photo and ran a full page.

According to McIntyre's daughter Julie, who's also shot photos for The Broadmoor, her father kept his camera at his side even on off-days. In the '80s, McIntyre found passion for panoramas shot in digital, when the technology was newly available. He'd hike 20 miles around Monument Valley and Canyon de Chelly in northern Arizona, loaded with equipment.

"I was younger then," he says. "I could hike around with 20 to 30 pounds on my back."

Though they weren't taken here in the Springs, the negatives for those photos will also go to the library, because, as Blevins says, McIntyre is a local legend.

Photos by Bob McIntyre
Monument Branch Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Drive
Runs through January
For more details, call 488-2370; for information on viewing the full collection, call 531-6333, ext. 2258.

  • Bob McIntyre's not short on stories.

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