Status Report

Let’s Save Hangar One

By SpaceRef Editor
September 9, 2008
Filed under ,
Let’s Save Hangar One

Moffett Field’s Hangar One is a one-of-a kind historic treasure and NASA is committed to its preservation.

Now 75 years old, this iconic landmark is showing its age. As a result of a 2003 inspection revealing PCBs and other contaminants are leaking from its metallic exterior, the facility has been closed for the past five years. This year, the Navy announced plans to remove all the contaminated siding material from Hangar One, seal the structural frame and leave the hangar’s framework and flooring standing. However, their plans do not address the Hangar’s reskinning. At the Navy’s recent public hearing on Aug. 26, 2008, members of the community expressed overwhelming support for full restoration.

NASA Ames Research Center assumed control of Moffett Field in the early 1990s. We agree it is in NASA’s and the community’s interests to maintain the profile of Hangar One as a meaningful landmark in the South Bay.

First and foremost, our goal at NASA Ames is to clean up and restore Hangar One so it no longer poses an environmental risk and can be used again. The Navy has agreed to proceed with the cleanup activities. We are in the process of working with the Navy and seeking private partners to collaborate and assist us in the restoration effort.

The next step is to determine how best to use this national resource in a manner that is compatible and consistent with NASA’s mission.

NASA Ames is exploring potential partnerships to support this worthwhile endeavor. The criteria for determining development and use already exist within the charter of the NASA Research Park (NRP). The NRP assists NASA Ames in fulfilling its obligations under the National Historic Preservation Act with respect to Hangar One and all historic property that is part of the Shenandoah Plaza Historic District at Moffett Field. This includes maintenance and preservation of historic buildings and assisting in revitalization and local economic development efforts through reuse of historic buildings.

A close partnership with our local communities is key to a successful outcome for the reuse of Hangar One. NASA values our relationship with our neighbors and recognizes the public trust associated with sustaining not only Hangar One, but all of the Shenandoah Plaza Historic District. A significant number of our 2,300 NASA Ames staff are your neighbors. Part of being a good neighbor is listening to what you think. To start, we want to hear your ideas for viable, potential future uses of Hangar One that ultimately enhance the community and NASA.

There’s a special link on our website,, to express your views. We will evaluate all of our options and share with you our plans as they evolve.

Earlier this year, the National Trust for Historic Preservation named Hangar One to its 2008 list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places. Hangar One was a 20th century icon in our valley. NASA Ames looks forward to working together with our neighbors and friends to restore Hangar One to its former glory, make it a 21st century icon, and ultimately use this great facility in a manner we can all be proud of.

S. Pete Worden
Director, NASA Ames Research Center NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.

SpaceRef staff editor.