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Saving Hangar One

Original post made on Sep 8, 2011

The southern doors of Hangar One at Moffett Field were completely stripped of siding as of Tuesday.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, September 8, 2011, 12:35 PM

Comments (21)

Posted by no more bailouts, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 8, 2011 at 1:48 pm

No more government handouts. If you want to save it, look for private donations.

Posted by PH, a resident of another community
on Sep 8, 2011 at 2:25 pm

We save lots of things that are important and special to different people who have different priorities. Why can't we save Hanger One. Would those who don't want to save it be very happy if something they believe is worth saving was destroyed? Those of us that understand the historical value of this hanger find it hard to believe that the average citizen doesn't care. It seems to be the same old argument about money. We need to find the money any way that is legitimate and then restore the stucture and make good use of it. The bottom line is saving it makes sense and destoying it would be a great loss of historic value. It can be done and then the hanger would be lsrge enough to do many things with that would justify the time and effort.

Posted by Marti, a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Sep 8, 2011 at 4:13 pm

no more bailouts.....

THIS IS NOT A BAILOUT! It has been named a historical site and needs to be saved forever, for history. There are many history lesson to be learned with Hangar One. The government, along with private donations need to be made. I hope some big company steps forward to help save this building. The government needs to step up... NASA and the Navy need to step up. Don't destroy history...

Posted by jane, a resident of North Whisman
on Sep 8, 2011 at 4:42 pm

to "no more bailouts"
Please factor in the following - if the Hangar is not reskinned and eventually degrades through neglect, there is also a HUGE cost associated with dismatling it and hauling away all of that structure. Once reskinned it is usable and there are many possiblities for its use.

Posted by SaveHangarOne, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 9, 2011 at 1:20 am

The other day I was on an airplane approaching the Bay Area. I knew we were getting close to SFO but when I looked out the window, I couldn't quite place the landscape. Lots of hills, roads, water, small buildings. Then I saw it - big huge Hangar One. Unmistakeable and one of a kind. Immediately I knew where we were and everything around it fell into place. Hangar One, home sweet home.

Posted by Member, a resident of another community
on Sep 9, 2011 at 12:27 pm

Please re-skin Hanger One and seek out local funding from some of companies in area as a gift of preservation of the communities' histories!

Let their be advertisement placements and memorials for current companies those that have gone before that "created" Silicon Valley.

Could expanse inside possibly be used to house the 49'er Stadium --plenty of indoor parking; and several football fields in length. What fun to "meet at the hanger" and "dig those 49'ers GO!!!

Posted by DoSOMETHINGwithIt, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Sep 9, 2011 at 1:15 pm

There are SO many options for something that large. Naming rights for a sports stadium runs from $1-$2 Million per year... why not allow a private company to buy the naming rights and plaster their advertising across it. Yes, I know, ugly. Not as ugly as a rusting skeleton, though... and much more useful. Google could do something simple... the primary colored logo across a white skin on the south side would be visible to all traffic on 101 North, as well as all SFO arrivals from the south (most SFO arrivals) and some SJC arrivals. Better yet, twitter should buy the rights and put a sparse LED display on the side randomly selecting tweets throughout the day/night (no housing to speak of nearby, although the burrowing owls might leave :( ). If NASA (the owner) is able to contract naming rights (or transfer ownership to a local municipality that can), There is no reason this thing cannot be reskinned without public funding by simply selling advertising space.

Posted by Angela Hey, a resident of another community
on Sep 9, 2011 at 3:46 pm

Check out O2 on Wikipedia in London (Web Link)).

After the Millenium Dome had entertained folk in 2000, the problem was to find a use for the dome.

Anschutz Entertainment took it over and it now houses various entertainment venues - a bit like a giant Shoreline Amphitheater complex. It has been used for multiple sports events, musical events, church megaevents and soon the Olympics. Given the location it could also be a convention center.

Posted by Lisa, a resident of another community
on Sep 9, 2011 at 4:38 pm

Were there actual studies or reports showing the negative effects of the leeching of the asbestos, lead and PCBs? Meaning, were there reports of people with birth defects, or disease, illness that could be directly linked back to the hanger? Any reports on the environmental impact? Or is it just more "fear" management?

Posted by DoSOMETHINGwithIt, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Sep 9, 2011 at 8:48 pm

I do not recall any verified links to specific health impacts in the area, more of an acknowledgement that there were toxins present. Asbestos on the inside were an obstacle to reuse for anything other than a hangar (already have two of those in better shape on the other side of the runways). The lead and PCBs in the paint were more of the fear thing, but the paint was starting to flake off and go airborne or wash into the bay. The site is already a superfund site due to the groundwater being polluted by the early silicon fabs just to the south, as well as NAVY use over the years. I think it was a requirement to clean it up as part of the BRAC process when a bunch of military bases were closed (i.e. the DoD was required by law to clean it up as part of closing it).

Posted by Logical, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 12, 2011 at 5:50 am

Hey Lisa, Some folks think its best to do something with toxics BEFORE they cause a bunch of birth defects.

Posted by Dee, a resident of North Whisman
on Sep 13, 2011 at 2:31 pm

Keep the petition going to save Hanger 1
Web Link

Posted by Aaron, a resident of Shoreline West
on Sep 14, 2011 at 10:44 pm

I'm with 'no handouts'. If there is a profitable use for the hangar, then there should be no issue securing a private developer to convert it in to whatever it needs to be converted in to. It is not the City's role to subsidize the continued existence of something that has minimal impact on the welfare of its citizens. I would rather see that money put to productive use, improving our schools, parks, and infrastructure.

Posted by James Hoosac, a resident of another community
on Sep 14, 2011 at 11:30 pm

To Aaron, not only there should be "no handouts". Hanger One should be removed and the land be freed so that other facilities can be built.

I'm pretty certain new facilities built on the same site will generate much, much more positive social and economical impact to our community. New museums, offices and parks can be enjoyed by many more of our citizens and can generate huge revenues for our schools, parks and infrastructure.

Posted by greycat, a resident of another community
on Sep 15, 2011 at 3:38 pm

Wipe the damn thing off the face of the earth already and sell the land to Google so they can hire more bicycle-riding ego-maniacs to use my e-mail and search engine queries against me.

Posted by Truth, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 15, 2011 at 4:42 pm

It was the sheer size of Hangar One and runway, along with the ideal location protected by coastal mountains and its proximity to a large waterway, educational institutions, and major city that caused Charles Lindberg, then Chairman of the NACA, to recommend that the nation build a second national research center at Moffett Field, far from Langley, VA and out of the reach of German bombers.

The National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA)in 1940 opened the nations second national research center, NACA Ames. The NACA eventually renamed itself to NASA Ames in 1958.

Its not by accident that instrumentation bloomed next to the Hangar and research being conducted at Ames, nor Fairchild, or IBM's disk drive. Following these inventions, the Micro Computer and SGI Computer Graphics.

Truth be known, a little innocent building played a big role in deciding to locate Ames here; the Hangar's and NASA's greatest spinoff was Silicon Valley, and all of us who benefit from these inventions.

the last bloke said..."Hanger One should be removed and the land be freed so that other facilities"
... fails to respect our history, nor is prudent in his wallet. Truth is, where else are you going to get a roof 6 football fields in size for the price. Time to do the math, and understand, its truly cheaper to keep her, and find the right reuse.

At the time Hangar One was built, it was the largest building in the world without interior supports. Today, the building still remains amoung the world's largest freestanding structures.

Hangar One is the largest and most recognizable landmark in California's Silicon Valley

1,133 feet (345 m) long x 308 feet (94 m) wide (Total 348,964 sq ft (32,430 m2))

~ 8 acres (32,000 m2) ~ 6 football fields (345,600 sq ft)
198 feet (60 m) high ~ 14 Stories

The hangar's interior is so large that fog sometimes forms near the ceiling of the building.

A person unaccustomed to its vastness is susceptible to optical disorientation. Looking across its deck, planes and tractors look like toys.

- Santa Clara County Heritage Resource
- California Historic Civil Engineering - Landmark
- Naval Historical Monument
- Primary element of a National Historic District

Hangar One is the most indelible mark, in the fabric of the Valley's historical transition from sleepy orchards to the center of the global technology revolution.

I say keep her, and treat her well.

Posted by James Hoosac, a resident of another community
on Sep 15, 2011 at 10:37 pm

Not everything that has a history will have a future.

Look around, where in the world do people preserve gigantic useless man-made industrial structures like Hanger One? None.

If Hanger One were small, like a lovely garage, I think we may actually could keep it, because it would not impose a huge burden to maintain and it would not intimidate things surrounding it.

Joe Montana played in Candlestick. But we are not going to keep it. It is time to move on.

Posted by Dave, a resident of Sylvan Park
on Sep 16, 2011 at 2:43 pm

Maybe Google could put their 2 767's in it.

Posted by Truth, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 16, 2011 at 3:01 pm


>it would not impose a huge burden to maintain

It's 6 football fields in size

Truth is it costs far more
than $14-32.4 Million
to build anything else in that spot.

Putting the building back into service
leasing it to one or more occupants
pays for itself

Why spend more
to tear it down

Why spend more
to build something else

If I was a property owner
It would make more sense
to put a new roof on it

Shouldn't we use good business sense
and think like an owner?

Posted by Political Insider, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 17, 2011 at 5:11 pm

Cant believe the city council isn't willing to spend a ton of money to satisfy a few people.

Posted by DoSomeTHINGwithIt, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Sep 17, 2011 at 11:23 pm

@James... "Look around, where in the world do people preserve gigantic useless man-made industrial structures like Hanger One? None."

Exhibit A: Naval Air Station Tillamook, Dirigible Hangar 'B'
Exhibit B: Lakehurst Naval Air Station, Hangar 1
Both on the National Register of Historic Places.
Heck, I'd even argue Alcatraz meets your description, not to mention countless shipyards and factories converted for some other use.

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