Preserving History: Community Fights to Save Santa Barbara Airport’s Historic Hangars

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Over 550 Santa Barbara and Goleta community members have signed a petition to preserve and restore two historic Santa Barbara Airport hangars, built in 1931.

Local resident Tom Modugno initiated the petition, highlighting the hangars’ significance as the origin of the airport. Despite their current neglected state, these structures once played a crucial role in aircraft manufacturing, commercial operations, and later served as barracks and a mess hall during airport expansion in the 1940s. Modugno hopes that raising awareness about the hangars’ history will spark interest in transforming them into a museum or event center.

Airport Director Chris Hastert acknowledged the need to address the hangars’ future, and currently, an architect and historian are assessing the feasibility of restoration versus demolition. The outcome of this analysis will determine the next steps for these historic structures.

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