Hangar One (Mountain View, California)

Hangar One (Mountain View, California)

Hangar One is one of the world's largest structures, covering eight acres (32,000 m²), and has long been one of the most recognizable landmarks of California's Silicon Valley. An early example of mid-century modern architecture, it was built in the 1930s as a naval airship station for the USS "Macon". Following its days serving the Navy, Army and Air Force, Hangar One is today the focal point of NASA's Ames Research Center, a collaborative and diverse education, research, technology, and business community. As the coalition of Bay Area counties predicted when it lobbied for the creation of Moffett Field in the late 1920s, the base’s research program and facilities catalyzed the development of numerous private technology and aerospace corporations, contributing to the development of Silicon Valley.


Designed by German air ship and structural engineer Dr. Karl Arnstein, Vice President and Director of Engineering for the Goodyear Zeppelin Corporation of Akron, Ohio, in collaboration with Wilbur Watson Associates Architects and Engineers of Cleveland, Ohio, Hangar One is constructed on a network of steel girders sheathed with galvanized steel. It rests firmly upon a reinforced pad anchored to concrete pilings. The floor covers eight acres (32,000 m²) and can accommodate 10 football fields. The airship hangar measures 1,133 feet (343 m) long and 308 feet (93 m) wide. The building has an aerodynamic architecture. Its walls curve upward and inward, to form an elongated dome 198 feet (60 m) high. The clam-shell doors were designed to reduce turbulence when the "Macon" moved in and out on windy days. The "orange peel" doors, weighing 200 tons (204.75 tonnes) each, are moved by their own convert|150|hp motors operated via an electrical control panel.

imilar Structures

Hangar One is similar to the Goodyear Airdock in Akron, Ohio which was built by the Goodyear Zeppelin Corporation in 1929. At the time it was built, it was the largest building in the world without interior supports, and provided a huge structure in which "lighter-than-air" ships (later known as airships, dirigibles, or blimps) could be constructed. The first two airships to be constructed and launched at the Airdock were USS "Akron" and its sister ship, USS "Macon", built in 1931 and 1933, respectively. These first two airships were 785 feet (239.27 m) in length.

Other historic references date back to Europe. An outstanding example are the two Hangar d' Orly for dirigibles at Orly Air Base near Paris. They were designed and built in 1921-1922 by French structural and civil engineer Eugène Freyssinet, who was the major pioneer of prestressed concrete. The buildings were destroyed in World War II. [Eugène Freyssinet, Hangar D'Orly, France http://www.essential-architecture.com/PA/PA-001.htm] .

Another remarkable example of a similar concrete construction are the two air plane hangars for the Italian Air Force in Orvieto, Italy, by Italian architect and structural engineer Pier Luigi Nervi, designed in 1935 and built in 1938. [Air Plane Hangars by Pier Luigi Nervi. http://warandgame.wordpress.com/2007/09/12/airplane-hangars/] . They were destroyed during World War II. [Architettura delle (Infra)Strutture. La forma strutturale nel progetto di Architettura. 5 aprile 2002 - R. Masiani. http://dsg.uniroma1.it/masiani/ponti/laboratorio/] .


Hangar One is listed in the Santa Clara County Heritage Resource Inventory. Hangar One is also a designated Naval Historical Monument and a pivotal resource in the U.S. Naval Air Station, Sunnyvale National Register Historic District − significant on the national level for its association with the expanding coastal defense capabilities of the U.S. Navy and airship technology during the interwar era between 1932 and 1945 [U.S. National Register of Historic Places http://www.nr.nps.gov/iwisapi/explorer.dll?IWS_SCHEMA=NRIS1&IWS_LOGIN=1&IWS_REPORT=100000040 ] . In 2008, Hangar One was listed as one of the 11 most endangered historic places in the U.S by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. [ [http://www.preservationnation.org/issues/11-most-endangered/ 2008 List of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places Announced] , National Trust for Historic Preservation]

External links

* [http://www.preservationnation.org/issues/11-most-endangered/ 2008 List of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places Announced]
* [http://historicproperties.arc.nasa.gov/ NASA Ames Historic Preservation Office]
* [http://history.arc.nasa.gov/moffett.htm Moffett Field History]
* [http://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/santaclara/ Santa Clara County and National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places]
* [http://www.moffettfieldmuseum.org/ Moffett Field Museum]
* [http://www.savehangarone.org/ Save Hangar One]


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