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Damaged World War I Hangar's Demolition Plan Opened to Public Debate

By Nicholas Rizzi | July 6, 2016 3:02pm
 National Parks released a draft Memorandum of Agreement for the renovation of Hangar 38 in Miller Field.
National Parks Asks for Input on Partial Deconstruction of WWI Hangar
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NEW DORP BEACH — A $6.2 million plan to pull down a World War I airplane hangar and replace it with recreational facilities has been opened to public discussion.

The National Park Service is asking for the public's input on the partial deconstruction of Hangar 38, in Miller Field, which was badly damaged during Hurricane Sandy.

The agency released a Memorandum of Agreement between it and the state's Historic Preservation Office Tuesday for project. After it's pulled down, proposals for the area's next use will be sought.

The draft plan would remove the building's side-wings, boiler room, chimney, exterior cladding and asbestos roofing and leave only its original steel frame.

NPS said returning Hangar 38 to its historic state was deemed too costly and the partial deconstruction plan makes the property more resilient against future storms.

The plan also includes installing educational signs about Hangar 38, with text and images, at a nearby bike path with a QR code that will link to a 3D model of the hangar.

In April, Borough President James Oddo announced that National Parks would seek a lessee to renovate the hangar for recreational purposes. The building has been unused since it was destroyed by flooding and high winds during Sandy.

"Given the resources available — not much are — we have a certain universe of possibilities with this property and I am happy to see creativity and a willingness to involve the private sector on the part of the NPS," Oddo previously said in a statement.

"It is exciting to know that Staten Islanders will again derive some benefit from the historic structure in the future."

Brian Feeney, Staten Island unit coordinator for Gateway National Park, previously told DNAinfo New York that the group needed to do the partial deconstruction — funded by federal Sandy aid — before it put an official RFP out. He said construction should start next year.

Hangar 38 was built in 1920 by the Army to use for aerial coast defense and it's one of the last on the eastern seaboard, according to NPS.

It was renovated in 1939 in a federal WPA project and was mostly used for NPS storage since they acquired it in 1972.

NPS originally looked at refurbishing the hangar but the estimated $45 million to do so was too much, Feeney said.

The public has until July 19 to comment on the plans for the partial deconstruction, which can be made online or by mail.