Historic NASA Aeronautical Site
HABS + HAER
Downey, CA


Onyx Architects was retained by the City of Downey and the Industrial Reality Group to prepare Historic American Engineering Records (HAER) for 19 structures potentially eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. Onyx also conducted at a later date a Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS). The 97.7-acre site witnessed and produced many important aeronautical and space products from its beginning in 1929 as an airplane manufacturing plant in the middle of orange groves until its close in 1999. The most significant architectural building is Building 1 — the administrative and historical “heart” of the site — consisting of 1 million square feet of space, and a historically significant administrative wing designed by Gordon Kaufmann in 1939. During the plant’s existence important components of the space program were created in Downey including the Saturn Launch Vehicle, the Apollo Command Module and Space Shuttle. Onyx Architects provided Historical Architectural services and provided research field documents, and 4” x 5” photographs of site buildings and submitted and obtained approval of HAER reports from the State of California and the National Park Service. The reports are available at the National Library of Congress web site.

Client:
City of Downey