NASA requests $32.8 million for Hangar One


NASA has requested $32.8 million to restore iconic Hangar One at Moffett Field, potentially ending a long preservation battle.

The Hangar One funds are part of President Barack Obama's 2012 budget request of $18.7 billion for NASA, which would send $754 million to NASA Ames Research Center. The Hangar One funds would have to survive routine changes to NASA's budget by both the House of Representatives and the Senate, where Republicans want to cut NASA's budget down to 2008 levels.

While it is good news, preservationists aren't about to stop their efforts.

"There's a long road ahead," said Moffett Field Restoration Advisory Board member Steve Williams in an e-mail.

Hangar One's recent history is full of actions that seemed to promise Hangar One's restoration. Just last December, Congresswoman Anna Eshoo's earmark to save Hangar One failed when Republicans took control of the House.

"These repeated efforts demonstrate the government's commitment to Hangar One, matching the community's," Williams said in a blog post on NASA's budget request.

The U.S. Navy in the process of having Hangar One's toxic siding removed this year, which will leave behind a bare skeleton. The Hangar One funding request appears to be the full amount needed to "install new exterior siding, roof and windows" for "a weather tight structure" that will "best reflect the historic nature of this structure," according to the NASA 2010 budget report.

A last-minute effort is underway to find a wealthy donor to save Hangar One's 4,000-plus unique windows with $575,000 to $1.2 million by the end of February, in order for the Navy's demolition contractor to exercise that option in its contract. "That money is needed more urgently than the government can provide," wrote Williams in a blog post.

Preservationists hope that the budget proposal will help the effort to save the windows by showing that the restoration is imminent. A wealthy donor won't donate the money "if it looks like the windows are going to sit in warehouse for 50 years," said Lenny Siegel, a leader of preservation efforts and director of the Center for Public Environmental Oversight.

"I'm highly encouraged that the President has committed in his budget to preserve Moffett Field's historic Hangar One," said Congresswoman Anna Eshoo in a statement. "This is just the first step in the appropriations process and while there are many others, I'll continue to work with my colleagues in Congress to see that this historic building and landmark in the heart of Silicon Valley is preserved for future generations."

The NASA budget report also estimates that 12 jobs will have to be eliminated this year at Ames under Obama's budget, but also estimates that Ames' 2,500 employees would not face layoffs under a proposed budget strategy ending in 2016. If the Republican proposal to cut back to 2008 funding levels is successful, many more people could be laid off.

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3 people like this
Posted by The Eye
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 14, 2011 at 6:49 pm

I'd love to see if it can really be done, as long as it can be done affordably. I'd be a shame to see it go, as it's been there all my life.

3 people like this
Posted by PH
a resident of another community
on Feb 15, 2011 at 8:15 am

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Save this hanger as it has so much historic value and lots of future potential. Step up private business, especially Google, as well as others. It would be easy for a few to give enough to get the project done. It is an opportunity to do something good for the future.

3 people like this
Posted by The Ear
a resident of The Crossings
on Feb 15, 2011 at 11:19 am

Ames will lose 12 jobs but gain $32.8M to save the hangar. Sounds like a net gain of jobs.

3 people like this
Posted by Rossta
a resident of Waverly Park
on Feb 15, 2011 at 8:53 pm

Rossta is a registered user.

I would love to see Hanger 1 saved. Before I moved to Mountain View, that hanger was all I knew of the area.

Now, here is a puzzler: for about the same money, we could save Caltrain. Thousands of people ride Caltrain every day (not me, but I benefit from those who ride it not being on the road). So, which is a better use of our money?

3 people like this
Posted by Scott
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Feb 16, 2011 at 7:44 am

Not that this is an either/or situation, but I'd put $30M into Caltrain before I'd put it into Hanger One.

3 people like this
Posted by LaLa
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Feb 16, 2011 at 2:28 pm

As I understand it, the problem with Google etc, putting money into restoration and thus hoping to use the facilities, is that due to it being a military installation, if there is any hint of a national or local threat, civilians would be shut out (and evacuated) for as long as the Brass deemed necessary. That would put a big Bummer into investing lots of money only to be told you can't use the facility. And we all know how sloooooow the guv'ment moves!

3 people like this
Posted by Expoman
a resident of another community
on Feb 17, 2011 at 8:29 am

How could we run a world expo at Moffett if they could take-it-back at any time? Is that the arrangement between NASA and the military?

3 people like this
Posted by Political Insider
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 17, 2011 at 6:34 pm

Waste of money.

3 people like this
Posted by the_punnisher
a resident of Whisman Station
on Feb 17, 2011 at 11:09 pm

the_punnisher is a registered user.

I'll say it again:

Colorado saved their military installation, and the hangers were no where near the size or as famous as Hangar One!

Wings over the Rockies is supported by local businesses.

Web Link

The history of Moffett Field in the SFBA is important enough for every major manufacturer to kick in some money; GTE and Ford Aerospace along with Lockheed Martin are just a few of the many companies who benefited from Moffett Field. This was before the Johnny come lately types like the fat cats who cut a sweet deal to base their GA craft there.

Maybe a little bit of investigative work on those deals is in order.

3 people like this
Posted by ARC employee
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Feb 18, 2011 at 9:46 pm

Is that 12 jobs in addition to all the expiring ARRA jobs, or 12 jobs total? returning to 2008 levels is not unreasonable, as the stimulus that grew the contractor workforce over the past two years was intended as temporary shot in the arm to help the economy get through the worst... never intended to be a permanent increase in NASA payroll. As far as CalTrain vs Hangar One? Unless a business case can be made for Hangar One, that is a good question to pose... However, if a good business case can be made, it would look favorable by comparison, as CalTrain is a perpetual money sink (as are most other mass transit systems). Unfortunately, there just aren't enough people interested in riding Caltrain to make it pay for itself... driving is just so much more convenient for most.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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