Friends, Aerospace Enthusiasts, Former Moffetteers, Shipmates and Silicon Valley History Fans, I have it on good authority that one of the ultimate solutions being proposed by the Navy (with NASA’s tacit concurrence) to solve the PCB, Asbestos and Lead Paint issues related to historic Hangar One at Moffett Field, is to completely demolish this unique building and icon of Silicon Valley. They feel it is their best option for completely ridding themselves of these pesky problems so they don’t have to deal with them again in the future. It may sound ludicrous, but the environmental types promoting this action don’t seem to be particularly worried about its historic value or potential future use as a museum. The reason for their haste is that the temporary paint job the Navy put on the exterior in 2003 (at a cost of over $2 Million), to encapsulate the PCBs and keep them from leaching into the storm sewer, is due to exceed its usefulness within the next 2 years, so they want to move forward with a final solution ASAP.
Aside from costing over $30 Million, the demolition solution would absolutely kill any efforts by the California Air and Space Center (CASC) or any other organization interested in using this wonderful (and irreplaceable) building to preserve the history of the Navy, NASA and the area, or use it to promote aerospace education.
I urge you to attend the next meeting of the Navy sponsored Moffett Field Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) on Thursday May 12th at 5:00 p.m. in the Mountain View City Hall (4th Floor Gallery) at 500 Castro Street in Mountain View. The RAB will be also be conducting a bus tour of the EPA cleanup sites at Moffett Field before the meeting including Hangar One. Please also pass this along to anyone you think would be interested in helping save Hangar One.
If enough concerned citizens and organizations voice their opposition to the demolition option, the Navy (and NASA) may be persuaded to choose one of their other options. The other options range from continued encapsulation with paint, to trying to just remove the toxic materials from the hangar’s sheathing and framework (sandblasting etc), to totally removing the exterior sheathing and conducting a cleanup of the framework. All of these other options at least offer the CASC or others the opportunity to restore the hangar to its previous appearance and reuse it for historical or educational purposes, but demolition should not be one of their options.
If you cannot attend, you can also voice your opposition by writing to the RAB in care of the Navy’s Environmental Office of their Southwest Division, or NASA’s Environmental Office at:
NASA Ames Research Center
Office of Safety and Quality Assurance (QE)
Moffett Field, CA 94035-1000
Attn: Sandra Olliges
I hope to see you there.
Former NAS Moffett Field Executive Officer Life Member and former President of the Moffett Field Historical Society.