Google Offers To Save Valley Historic Landmark Hangar One

By Sudarshana Banerjee

Ken Ambrose, a vice president for H211, a Google-owned corporation with eight privately owned aircraft based at Moffett, attended the Mountain View City Hall meeting of the Hangar One Subcommittee of the Moffett Restoration Advisory Board Thursday evening. Ambrose said his company would volunteer to fund the re-skinning of Hangar One.

The restoration is believed to cost a reported $33 million, and H211 has proposed that it fund the entire amount. The offer was sent to NASA in September this year, but a decision has yet to be reached, as NASA has not yet responded back. It was proposed that NASA continue to own the hangar and lease a portion of it to H211 and others.

President Obama’s NASA budget for fiscal year 2012 included $32.8 million for restoration—installing new siding and roofing to make the hangar watertight—but in June NASA’s Inspector General’s office questioned the funding, says the website Save Hangar One.  In April 2011, the exterior panels began coming down, starting at the top. If the project is not funded, the hangar’s frame will sit, exposed to the elements, when the Navy completes disassembly in 2012, says the website.

Hangar One is one of the world’s largest freestanding structures, covering 8 acres, and has long been one of the most recognizable landmarks of Silicon Valley. An early example of mid-century modern architecture, Hangar One was built in the 1930s as a naval airship station for the USS Macon, says Wikipedia. 81 years later, the fate of the historic structure lies in wait for the relevant authorities to make up their respective and collective minds on what to do with the hangar.

[Image Courtesy: NASA]

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