By Tom Modugno of Goleta History
A lot of folks don’t know that Santa Barbara and Goleta have a very rich aviation history. Today, the city of Santa Barbara has a rare opportunity to put that history on display, and it is just sitting in a corner of their airport.
Since 1931, two airplane hangars have served the community and contributed to aviation history in a number of different ways. For nearly 100 years, they have also been neglected and taken for granted. Yet they manage to remain standing. It is very rare for a modern airport to still have their first hangars still existing, but that could end any day now.
I’ve been working with a group of folks for years now, trying to save the hangars by going through the proper political channels. So far, we have gotten nothing but lip service.
According to the new Santa Barbara City Historic Resources Ordinance, the hangars cannot be demolished or moved without defensible findings. But right now, the city is in violation of its own Ordinance by allowing, “demolition by neglect”. While any kind of restoration and future use would be welcome, it is very important historically that they remain in their current location. That is where the two young pilots landed and started a flying school in 1928. That’s the birthplace of the airport.
Time is running out, so I decided to throw it out there and see who else wants to try to help get the politicians motivated. I submit to the public this petition, a simple way to express whether or not you think these historic buildings justify the effort and resources required to save them.
If you want more info on the history of the hangars and why they are eligible to be included in the National Register of Historic Places — please go to www.goletahistory.com, click on the Menu, and search HANGARS. Several pages have information about them. If you don’t deem them worthy of the effort, that’s your choice. If you do, please sign the petition, share it with your friends and send the council a friendly letter of encouragement.
Here is a link to the petition: https://www.thepetitionsite.com/357/131/233/save-the-original-two-santa-barbara-airport-hangars/