These two hangars are coming up on 100 years old. What better way to celebrate their birthday than to give them some love?

If you know anything about our local history, you know that a lot of the pioneers of American aviation, like Amelia Earhart, spent time in Santa Barbara. And guess where they landed their aircraft? At these two little hangars in Goleta.

The history of these hangars runs deep, but they continue to be neglected. There are plenty of reasons why the city of Santa Barbara won’t do anything to save these historic structures. Study after study has been paid for, but no action is ever taken. It’s high time some elected officials step up and get it done.

The main excuse for not restoring them is that they sit in a floodway. Yes, the whole airport sits smack dab in the middle of a slough! And yet the two hangars have managed to survive for nearly 100 years and countless floods. In 1935 they sat in the very same floodway they sit in today.

During the war the Marines nicknamed the airport. “The swamp” and “Lake Santa Barbara.” But the hangars survived.

In 1967 they still sat in a floodway. But it looks like the floodway was the safest place in this storm!

In 1995 the whole airport was flooded, and the hangars survived.

This year, flood waters from a huge storm again closed down the busy airport.

But the 92 year old hangars that are barely managing to stand from years of neglect, survived yet another flood.

In fact, the two hangars location was better off than a lot of other parts of the airport!

So, if flooding is a good reason not to put any money into saving the hangars, then they should just shut down the whole airport for the same reason.

The time for excuses is over. It’s time for action. These are simple structures that would be simple to restore. The City of Santa Barbara could do something worthwhile with these historic structures. Something this City Council could be proud of. When Santa Barbara used a shoestring to annex an airport in Goleta, they inherited these historic structures. Now is the time to take advantage of a rare opportunity and preserve the first two hangars, the genesis of the Santa Barbara Airport, for future generations to learn and remember.

Here’s a link to some more of the history of the two original hangars: TWO HANGARS

We have made an online petition to help motivate our elected officials. Maybe if enough people show support, the City of Santa Barbara will take note, cut through the red tape and excuses, and get it done.

Please click this link to sign the petition- and thank you!

Sources: Adam Lewis, Ryan Cullom, Tom Smothermon, Walker Tompkins, Santa Barbara Municipal Airport, Max Rosenberg


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