House committee kills Hangar One funding


Hopes for federal money to save Moffett Field's historic Hangar One were dashed on Tuesday when it was announced that the House Appropriations Committee removed $32.8 million for new Hangar One siding from NASA's 2012 budget.

The move followed a NASA Inspector General report which criticized the NASA Ames Research Center request for the $32.8 million when more "mission critical" NASA projects would be delayed.

"The President's budget included $32.8 million for the re-skinning of the historic Hangar One," said congresswoman Anna Eshoo in an email. "It's deeply disappointing to see the Republicans cut out the entire funding, but I will not give up fighting for the complete restoration of Hangar One. It's a national treasure and when re-skinned, it will once again be an essential asset to Silicon Valley and our country."

"There have been many bumps in the road" for Hangar One, Eshoo said. "I consider this yet another bump."

The report that accompanied the committee's decision said committee members understood that NASA is "considering additional options for the renovation and use of the hangar," that may not involve NASA's re-siding of it. NASA officials said last month that the agency will consider giving Hangar One to another government agency and will even consider demolishing it entirely.

Bill Berry, former NASA Ames official and co-chair of the Moffett Field Restoration Advisory Board, said in an email that the request would likely be denied in 2012 and 2013, given the political climate in Washington D.C. The board will meet Thursday evening to discuss Hangar One, and may vote to send a letter in support of Hangar One to the Inspector General and local Congress members.

Hangar One is being stripped of its toxic siding this year and this week the metal skeleton underneath became exposed for the first time. Preservationists hope it won't remain that way for long, but at this point, it could remain a bare skeleton for years.

The idea of the city taking on ownership of hangar has gained support from some preservationists, but city officials have yet to make any visible action in that direction since Mayor Jac Siegel's comments last month that the city would certainly study the idea if asked to by federal legislators.

The RAB meets 7 p.m. on Thursday, July 14, at the Mountain View Senior Center, 266 Escuela Avenue.


Like this comment
Posted by Eyesore
a resident of another community
on Jul 13, 2011 at 9:38 pm

Time to demolish Hanger One.

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Posted by Glass H. Full
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jul 14, 2011 at 10:11 am

We're not losing a rusted out toxic chemical problem, we're gaining a less obstructed bay view :)

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Posted by Alex M
a resident of Willowgate
on Jul 14, 2011 at 4:57 pm

I'll miss it if it gets demolished. Aside from indoor stadiums that are expensive to rent, there aren't many buildings in the world with a large open space of still air suitable for experiments and events that need it, especially with those huge doors to admit huge projects.

Still $32.8 million is a lot if the only requirement for now is to paint it to prevent corrosion and rot. I could do some awesome renovation to my home if I had that kind of money to spend.

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Posted by Doug Pearson
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 14, 2011 at 8:46 pm

So sad. Not unexpected, but still sad. I hope some way can be found to re-skin Hanger One, but the light at the end of the tunnel is dim. Sigh.

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Posted by Roxie
a resident of North Whisman
on Jul 14, 2011 at 9:06 pm

Too bad. We can spend more than a trillion dollars fighting a war in the middle east that we shouldn't even be fighting but we can't spend 32 million to preserve a registered naval historic monument. Go figure.

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Posted by ComeOnAnna!
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 14, 2011 at 10:55 pm

Really. Blaming this on the Republicans?! NASA used to have an IG that failed to act on any investigative findings... he resigned and Obama nominated the current IG. The GOP claimed the House in the most recent elections, in part due to perceived lack of fiscal responsibility from the prior Congress. If the Obama-nominated, Democratic Congress-confirmed NASA IG calls out an earmark as wasteful, can you really blame the Republicans?! I'm a big fan of the Hangar, but I admit it probably does not rise to the level of NATIONAL historical significance required for renovation in these economic times.

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Posted by susana rocha
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jul 15, 2011 at 7:36 am

About time to put that monster where it belongs - a toxic waste landfill

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Posted by Steve
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jul 15, 2011 at 8:07 am

I think it's cool, but we could demolish it and that's okay with me. But if we want to save it, I agree that it doesn't rise to the level of a "national treasure" that taxpayers in Arkansas and Iowa should pay for.

If we want to save it, we should do it locally. Borrowing 32.4M at 3% means payments of around 1.6M/year for 30 years. Mountain View can't afford that on its own. If it's split among several cities, perhaps it could work.

Given the tough economic times, this probably won't fly now since the hangar is not that useful to any city. A plan like this might have been affordable and workable in 2006-2007. Oh well. Timing is everything. Goodbye, Hangar 1.

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Posted by PH
a resident of another community
on Jul 15, 2011 at 9:07 am

Isn't it ironic that we want to gid rid of a symbol of the reason to fight the wars in the middle east. We took on the role of world NATO power long ago and now it is choking our economy at a cost of billions a day. The world was a simpler place before we became a global ecenomy and the plain truth is that everyone is out to profit and seems to care less about any other country. The sad fact is that the cost of one day of war would save this historic structure, yet we really can't afford it. There should be a west coast air museum here on the scale of the Smithsonian or the Navy's in Pensacola. Love the military or not, they are the reason we get to have an opinion and have been a huge part of our local history and economy for as long as people have lived here. I still think we can save the hanger and Nasa should try to find the money from large corporate donors who have benefitted from them in the past. I don't know how many companies have use of a government facility the way Google does, but maybe they could make a commitment that will get the hanger saved as well as improve their current public image. I have no problem with Google, but if they want the priveleges, then maybe we could get their help. They want bridges, I don't want the Steven's Creek Trail altered. Lockheed has benfitted as well I'd think, as well as others around Moffett. Maybe we could all win if we work together.

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Posted by Rodger
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jul 15, 2011 at 11:40 am

I like the idea of a Smithsonian west coast air museum in a restored Hanger one. NASA Ames has been a research leader in aviation for decades and this meuseum would be a fitting use for Hanager one. Funding should be avaiible over a several year time frame for this use. We need local firms to provide seed money to get this effort started and to make sure that the frame work is protected from the weather.

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Posted by jane
a resident of North Whisman
on Jul 15, 2011 at 3:32 pm

One missing part of the piece is that whatever happens to this historic (yes it is historic) building ther eis a cost associated with it. To the person who says demolish much do you think that will cost? To the person who says put it in the much do you think it will cost?
There is global interest in this unique structure - it is beautiful and shows design and workmanship that is worth preserving.
So before you say it is not worth saving because of the cost involved, have you researched how much it cost to NOT reskin it and to leave it there for environmental degradation or to demolish it in an environmentally responsible way? Demolition or environmental degradation of a historic building are not options.
Smithsonian West, Global Rescue, Convention Center - and how about the hope for the Worlds Fair in 2020? Let's think bigger than this year and this economy at the moment.

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Posted by Political Insider
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 15, 2011 at 7:48 pm

Lets tax all of the Google people to pay for it. They have lots of money to help pay for silly projects.

This building is a pile of junk. You couldn't give it away at this point.

Like this comment
Posted by SadButTrue
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 15, 2011 at 10:28 pm

The NAVY limited their financial responsibility to the cost of demolition and disposal... NASA argued for restoration and the agreement was the NAVY would remove and dispose of all toxics while leaving the structure intact and NASA would assume responsibility for restoration or new use. The NAVY's cost of careful removal of toxins without disturbing the structure likely cost more than demolition and disposal would have, and now we will add the cost of demolition and disposal to that tab anyway. Talk about a waste of money!

Like this comment
Posted by Bobby
a resident of another community
on Jul 20, 2011 at 10:24 pm

Moffett Field should be a reliever airport for San Jose. Just think of all the landing fees and office rental income that would accrue if it was to be made into an airport. Then the place would be flush with $$$ and Hangar One could be saved, not to mention all the jobs that would be created.

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

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