Save the Original Two Santa Barbara Airport Hangars

In 1928, two young aviators landed their primitive airplane in a cow pasture at the edge of the Goleta Slough. They scraped an air strip into the earth, and opened a flying school. That was the humble beginnings of what is today the Santa Barbara Municipal Airport.
In 1931, General Western Aero Corp. built these two hangars that served as an airplane factory and then a community airport, used by lots of aviation dignitaries. In the 1940s they served the Marines to help defend our freedom and from that point forward, they have served the airport in a variety of ways, until recently being condemned.
Nearly a century later, the two hangars are still there, in the exact same place, physical evidence of a long and important aviation history in our neighborhood. It is very rare for the original hangars of a modern airport to still be standing. These plain looking old buildings are the genesis of today's Santa Barbara Municipal Airport. Consultants hired by the airport said that the hangars meet the requirements for being nominated to the National Register of Historic Places, but still no action has been taken to stabilize or preserve the hangars. According to the Santa Barbara City Historic Resources Ordinance, the hangars cannot be demolished or moved without defensible findings, but it appears the city council may be violating their ordinance with "demolition by neglect".
Walker Tompkins said, "The only thing more destructive to historical landmarks than a bulldozer is procrastination on the part of preservationists." This is exactly what is happening here. We, as a community, have a rare opportunity here to make something special. A piece of our past that helped changed our world, that our kids and their kids could see and touch with their hands if it is saved.
This petition is not proposing a specific use for the hangars, this is just to keep them from collapsing and being swept away like dead leaves, out of our memories forever. Time is running out. This petition is a plea to our elected officials to cut through the red tape, and get this done.
Read the story of the two hangars here-

Update #53 months ago
The Airport commission is meeting tonight to discuss the fate of these two Original Hangars, 248 and 249. If you want to attend, it will be at 6 PM at the Airport Administration Building, 601 Firestone Road.
Or send an email to
Tell the city and the airport to Save the Original Two Hangars! Before they collapse.
Update #44 months ago
UPDATE! SBA is having an open house tonight for community input. Go to Ellwood School March 7th at 6PM and tell SBA to stop dragging their feet and PRESERVE the Original Two Hangars before they collapse. Or send an email to
The City Council will be discussing SBA updates on March 12th, so send them an email as well!
Update #38 months ago
The city of Santa Barbara approved the funding of a feasibility study LAST YEAR for the original two hangars. The report left the city with more questions, which should be answered in a few more months. We will alert you when this report is made public, and how the city decides to move forward.
In the meantime, we encourage you to write letters to the SB city council and the airport commission, letting them know we are all waiting and watching.

S.B. Aviation Historic Preservation Coalition
Update #2about a year ago
SBA invites the community to join an interactive Open House to discuss their Master Plan Update and to provide public officials with proper guidance for future development. This is a good time to remind them the hangars are being demolished by neglect. Here's a link-
Here are the email addresses to send a letter-
Update #1about a year ago
Those of us interested in the fate of the historic airport hangars will be interested to attend the Airport's Open House, April 20 at 4-6pm. Below is the forwarded invitation to attend. Attendance and public comment would be good at this meeting to show public interest in the hangars.
At least, shoot them an email, telling them to SAVE THE HANGARS!
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