Monday, March 05, 2007

While I was out today...

...I had a chance to see the two largest free-standing wooden buildings in the world.

They are hangars at the former Naval Air Station at Tustin, California. Built to house dirigibles, they have been essentially unused since the Navy ended its lighter-than-air program many decades ago...



The former military base is now being developed in typical Orange County fashion: runways, hangars, control tower and various buildings are being torn up, soon to be replaced with shopping malls, thousands of houses and, with luck, a few square feet of grass here and there.



The "deal" is that one of the blimp hangars must be preserved. I'm told both may survive if commercial uses can be found for them -- and they are huge, believe me -- but there's also a chance neither will survive.

I wish the doors had been open so I could have taken a photo of the inside of one of them. They are awesome.

13 comments:

DAL said...

Those are beautiful buildings. The entrances are so Art Deco-looking. Imagine having the cash to buy one and turn it into a massive house/garage/studio/whatever all in one playground.

lowandslow said...

I studied those Navy lighter-than-air ships. That was a magnificant time in history. I hope something can be saved.

Anonymous said...

Those buildings look really cool. I hope they don't tear them down and build a shopping mall. Don't we have ENOUGH malls???

Gill

betty said...

I agree with Gill. I hate destroying beautiful things to build shopping centers or something like that. :(

HarpO'Fly said...

Plenty of surface for a cool paint job. I hope someone decides to make use of them, maybe a home for wayward ne'er do wells, and those who fall through the seams. I know, always thinking of myself...

Sally said...

Very interesting, Scribbs, and great pics! (((hugs)))

Birdie said...

I hope they preserve BOTH!! Near Berlin a HUGE hanger was being built for a planned HUGE blimb that was supposed to carry freight around the world... never happened... cash flow stopped and lots of government investment wasted. This was just a few years ago.
The building is now a huge "vacation" retreat with indoor pools, palm trees, etc...

Unfortunately, I don't think your wooden buildings would take the moisture moisture.... but that was found to be the only use for such a giant. Maybe I can find a link about it.....

Sunny said...

At least you have the pictures, just in case the great wooden buildings dissappear!

I hope they will be saved, at least one of them.

The county could make a mall out of one, too. Or a flea market! :)

Anonymous said...

Airports, like farms, once gone can never be replaced.

Long Island has a huge and currently mostly unused airport at Calverton. THe politicos are rubbing their hands gleefully trying to make it into anything but it's intended purpse.

Instead, they are making a "reliever airport" in Newburgh.

Harumph and Humbug

Fin

Birdie said...

here are pictures of the hangar I was mentioning.....

http://www.pilotundluftschiff.de/hallebrand.htm

MrScribbler said...

birdie -- that's an impressive hangar!. Looks like it could be deflated and moved somewhere else if necessary....

Birdie said...

and here are some pictures of what it looks like inside today... no, it's not inflatable... it's a solid construction!

http://www.my-tropical-islands.com/fotos/index.htm

MrScribbler said...

birdie -- that's very cool!

Unfortunately, since the Tustin hangars are wood, it might be possible to install a "High-Speed-Turborutsche" if ventilation was good, but surely no Südsee....

That tropischen Barbecue looks tasty, though!