Tuesday, March 03, 2009

O.C. Fair to demolish SAAAB building

The Administration Building for the Orange County Fairgrounds -- one of the few remaining Santa Ana Army Air Base buildings -- is scheduled for immediate demolition. I will quote directly from Niyaz Pirani's story in yesterday's O.C. Register, since the exact wording may be important:
"The administration building at the OC Fair & Event Center will be demolished this week. The building was previously used by the Santa Ana Army Air Base, but through research was deemed to have no historic value. The doors and windows of the demolished building will be donated to Habitat for Humanity. Fair officials said the staff has outgrown the building and that a new administration building will be ready by June."
What research? By whom? And how much were they paid to reach that conclusion? Even if the Fair folks are legally within their rights to demolish the building, how can anyone say the building "has no historic value?" SAAAB is one of the most important sites pertaining to Orange County's involvement in WWII. And why are we hearing about this only now -- on the very week demolition is going to begin?
(I took the photo above during last year's Fair. For the record, the Fair moved onto this part of the old SAAAB in Costa Mesa in 1949.)
And as long as we're being outraged, see the article, "Googie Bowling Alley Destroyed on TV" from the Preservation Magazine website. It's not about Orange County, but I think you'll see why I linked to it. I can well imagine how our pal Chris Nichols felt while watching this travesty. It makes me sick just thinking about it.


Viewliner Ltd. said...

I moved to OC in the 1950's and spent much of my time at the OC Airport and I can remember, with fond memories, the old airport tower building and other structures from the SAAAB.

I believe we are experiencing a period in time where destruction has become the new form of entertainment. Teaching a new generation, that preservation of historic structures means squat.

Not unlike a time in New York City where icons like the Pennsylvania Railroad Station were demolished. Still the sickest distruction on my list.

DregerClock.org said...
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DregerClock.org said...
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WeNeedALawyer said...

Okay, who's going to spearhead the INJUNCTION?? There's got to be some attorney who's also a history/military/architecture buff out there.

In Seattle, they save the original Boeing shop and moved it. It was a structure similar to the Admin Bldg.

Progress? said...

looks like it might be too late to save it anyway... take a look at their "Progress":

link to construction pages at ocfair.com

Anonymous said...

"has no historic value"... Nice statement. I would love to know who proclaimed it that way too! Is that article on the register's site? I cant find it.

Outraged said...

Forget the attorney for now - call the TV stations, the City Council and the County Board of Supervisors.

Public outcry is the first step.

(PS: The bowling alley piece made me ill. How juvenile and Jerry Springer has this country become??)