- Ride in the Past
- United States of America
Can a Depression-era airplane hangar in Auburn steer clear of demolition?
That’s the question supporters of its preservation are asking in the face of plans by the city of Auburn to tear it down.
Sheathed in weathered green paint, the sheet-metal sheathed hangar is located near the Auburn Municipal Airport runway in North Auburn.
Al and Deb Casner – who gained a modicum of fame last summer selling a 1957 microcar to host Mike Wolf on an episode of TV’s “American Pickers” – are behind a petition drive to stall city plans and have the humble-but-historic hangar listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Ultimately, supporters would like to see the hangar become a working museum, with classic airplane restorations taking place inside, they said.
“It’s our history,” Deb said. “It’s for our kids and our kids’ kids. What will they be able to touch and feel? It will be gone.”
With the possibility of demolition imminent, the Casners have won the support of Auburn City Councilman Bill Kirby in an attempt to convince the city to stop demolition plans and take stock of the potential value of keeping the building.
Kirby visited the building Friday and – advising that he’s no structural engineer – deemed the building’s wooden structure apparently sound. He’ll be asking the City Council to delay demolition until supporters can come back with a doable preservation plan.
“Right now, we’re trying to make Auburn more of a tourist area,” Kirby said. “I’ve been up and down the valley flying a plane and no one has buildings like that – there’s nothing original like this hangar. It may be possible to preserve it and make it another icon of the foothills.”
The Casners say they’ve been mounting a petition drive since hearing May 17 about the possible demolition. So far, they’ve collected about 500 names in support of a drive to “Save the Historical Green Hangar.” Many of the signatures came from a sheet placed at the airport’s Wings restaurant.
The hangar was built between 1938 and 1940 by Dr. David Kindopp. The airport was initially developed in 1934 by the federal government and used until 1946 as a mail-plane stop. The hangar was sold for $20 to longtime airport maintenance man Bill Clark in the late 1950s. The airport itself was taken over by the city of Auburn, setting the stage for growth in hangar development and of the adjacent industrial park.
“Our long-term hope if it gets landmark status is to turn it into a museum,” Al Casner said.
Gus Thomson of the Auburn Journal
Keep the historic green hanger from possible demolition.
Save the Historical Green Hangar.
The Save the Bill Clark Historic Hangar in Auburn California petition to Ride in the Past was written by Alan Casner and is in the category City & Town Planning at GoPetition.