MOUNTAIN VIEW (KCBS) – In the middle of a Navy project to strip toxic siding off Hangar One, Congress stripped away funding NASA needed to rebuild the historic Moffett Field structure for contemporary use.

Once the Navy’s environmental remediation effort is finished, the massive building that housed submarine spotting Zeppelin aircraft in the 1930s will resemble an exposed turkey carcass, said Lenny Siegel with the Save Hangar One Committee.

“Right now nobody knows where the money’s going to come from to put the hangar back together once the Navy removes all the toxic materials,” Siegel said.

KCBS’ Matt Bigler Reports:

The House Appropriations Committee this week voted to remove $32.8 million from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration budget that had been set aside to re-skin the Santa Clara Valley landmark.

“We sort of expected this. Nevertheless, it’s a major setback,” Siegel said. He’s hoping once locals see the empty frame, the public will pressure Congress to somehow restore the building.

The Save Hangar One Committee faces a chicken and egg dilemma when it comes to convincing Congress to pay for the restoration work on a building not currently designated for re-use.

“There are a number of proposals for reuses, but nothing can move forward until we have a building. So which do you do first?” Siegel asked.

Jack Boyd, historian at the NASA Ames Research Center, said the question of Hangar One’s importance to the local community offered little insight into the building’s next chapter as a museum or some other type of facility.

“It’s an icon, clearly,” he said.

“The whole valley has a nostalgic feeling by that hangar. What we’re going to do with it next, I think, is up for question.”

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

  1. Cliff Flores says:

    My grandfather, working at Hendy Iron Works in Sunnyvale, helped build Hangar One. My father, 13 years old at the time, remembered school getting out early so the children could see the arrival of the USS Macon. He marveled at the sight of seeing airplanes being launched/retrieved from the huge airship. Hangar One must be saved

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