Securing the Safety of One of Tustin’s Historic Sites
Nestled in Tustin, Calif. are two of the largest freestanding wooden structures in the world: a pair of blimp hangars from the 1940s. Once used to house military aircraft, these behemoth buildings now serve as rentable filming locations for movies, tv shows, and have even been featured in Tesla commercials. Additionally, the city uses the hangars to host community and company events, including for H&M and Disney.
As strikingly familiar structures etched into Tustin’s landscape, the hangars are about three football fields in length and 17 stories high – so large you can see them from space. Built almost entirely out of wood near the end of WWII, the hangars housed blimps and other military aircraft used to patrol the West Coast in search of enemy submarines and torpedoes.
The Department of the Navy owns the hangars; however, the city of Tustin will soon manage the structures and is in the process of planning a wide variety of uses for the south hangar.
However, before any future development could start, the city first had to ensure the environmental compliance of this historic site.
Environmental Assessment to Ensure Compliance
In the beginning stages of redevelopment, Omega’s team was brought in to perform a 5-day pre-renovation assessment to evaluate the hangar’s building materials. Partnering with preservation architects from Page & Turnbull, Omega assisted the city of Tustin in the assessment of this historic site to determine if any environmental issues existed and to develop a strategy to mitigate risk and ensure compliance with regulatory guidelines set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
As experts in environmental management, the Omega team has been protecting the public and ensuring the safety of historic buildings for over 20 years. From microbiological evaluations to lead and asbestos consulting, Omega provides a full range of assessment and remediation services for the reliable and cost-effective management of environmental hazards in preparation for demolition, historic restoration and construction.
A Safe and Exciting Future for Tustin’s Hangars
With the city of Tustin considering everything from an urban center complete with shopping and housing, to a potential entertainment park, the safety of this historic hangar was top of mind. And, with the help of Omega’s team, the site of the southern hangar is ready for the next phase of development.
The site of the hangars, which has been featured in films and TV shows such as The X Files, Star Trek, and Austin Powers, is a core part of the city’s culture. Currently, Tustin officials continue to explore and solidify the plans for the hangar’s redevelopment.
As Omega assists Tustin in the next chapter of the hangars’ history, the city can be confident that these historic buildings have been carefully evaluated for environmental compliance, and that – whatever the future of the structures may be – the public can safely experience a piece of their town’s history.
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