California’s 18th Congressional District has played an important role in our nation’s history. Rep. Eshoo is committed to preserving local history and supporting our communities in doing so. As part of this commitment, she has been the leading advocate for the preservation of Hangar One at Moffett Field, a landmark integral to the South Bay’s history and community identity.
Hangar One, on the site of what is now called Moffett Field, is located next to the cities of Sunnyvale and Mountain View. The Hangar was constructed by the Navy in 1932, providing hundreds of jobs in the midst of the Great Depression. It was built to house the USS Macon, the largest airship in the world at that time. Covering eight acres (enough to house 10 football fields), with walls curving to a height of 198 feet, the Hangar remains one of the largest freestanding structures in the country. In 1939, Moffett Field and Hangar One became home to the advanced aerospace laboratory of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), which later became NASA. During World War II, Hangar One held aircraft and trained personnel essential to the war effort.
Today, Hangar One is a historic landmark that helps define the landscape of the South Bay region and Silicon Valley. NASA sought to develop Hangar One into an interactive space and science center. However, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), toxic to humans and the environment were found in the Hangar’s siding from previous Naval operations, and Rep. Eshoo has consistently advocated that Hangar One be cleaned up and returned to the community.
Rep. Eshoo continues to advocate for Hangar One in Congress, a testament to Silicon Valley’s historical contributions to America’s twentieth-century progress, and a source of pride and potential for local communities. She has been joined by business organizations, community groups and historic preservation associations in advocating for Hangar’s preservation
Rep. Eshoo’s Work:
- As the champion in Congress for Hangar One, Rep. Eshoo was recently successful in urging the General Services Administration (GSA) not to excess Hangar One and Moffett Airfield; it will remain a restricted Federal Airfield and NASA will remain its custodian. GSA will conduct a competitive bid process seeking a qualified lessee to provide for the rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of Hangar One. The 129th Rescue Wing of the California Air National Guard will remain at Moffett Field.
- Rep. Eshoo fought to obtain funding to replace the unique siding and preserve the Hangar. Rep. Eshoo secured $28 million in the FY11 House Appropriations Bill and in the Senate-introduced Omnibus package. Unfortunately, the Senate was unable to pass the bill and the funds for Hangar One were lost. President Obama allotted $32.8 million for the restoration of Hangar One in his proposed FY12 budget but Appropriators did not fund the proposal.
- In March 2010, Rep. Eshoo hosted a meeting in her Washington office with Navy Secretary Mabus, NASA Administrator Bolden, NASA Ames Director Worden and Office of Personnel Management key staff. For the first time, all parties agreed to work toward preservation of Hangar One.
- The U.S. Navy threatened to demolish Hangar One after the toxic chemicals were discovered, but Rep. Eshoo was successful in advocating for remediation, not destruction of the structure which is listed as a Naval Historical Monument and part of a United States Registered Historic District. In 2008, Hangar One was listed as one of America’s most endangered historic sites.
Learn more about the historic Hangar One here.