The Curtiss-Wright hangar at Owens Field Airport was built in 1929 and dedicated in 1930 at an airshow drawing 15,000 people. President Roosevelt and Amelia Earhart each flew into Columbia via this hangar at different times during the 1930s.
The hangar has been neglected for decades and is falling into disrepair, but four local developers want to bring the hangar back to its former glory and turn it into an event space, family restaurant, and rooftop bar.
The hangar has contributed greatly to military and Columbia history, and was thus in 1998 listed in the National Register of Historic Places. In 2012, Richland County Council and the Airport Commission dedicated a roadside marker for the hangar in recognition of this designation. The S.C. Department of History and Archives has some cool pictures, and you can read the nomination form for the hangar to be listed in the National Register. [Scroll down to the narrative at the bottom of the form for a detailed history of the hangar].
Occupying much of the inside of the hangar is ”Skunkie,” a B-25 Mitchell medium bomber. Since its restoration in 1992, (after almost 50 years at the bottom of Lake Greenwood), Skunkie has been passed around from owner to owner, but largely kept from public access. The Rosewood neighborhood is hopeful that these latest efforts will successfully restore the hangar and provide an opportunity for the public to have access to this little bit of Rosewood history.
Owens Field Airport hangar
Have you heard about the amazing plans to renovate the hangar at Owens Field Airport? [Map] Curious about the All Local Farmers’ Market moving to Rosewood and expanding it to include some really cool stuff? This neighborhood is rocking!
You can read here and here about some of the developments, and join us on the 19th to find out more!
Who: The Owens Field Airport hangar developers and Emile DeFelice
What: RCC Quarterly Meeting
When: Thursday, July 19th, 6:30 p.m.
Where: Hamilton-Owens Field Airport conference room, 1400 Jim Hamilton Blvd. [Map]
Also on the agenda: Moryah Jackson, candidate for Richland County School District One; special election for secretary; and plans to expand the Seaco asphalt emulsion plant
Check out these historical aerial photos of Rosewood. The photo at right was taken in 1938, before most of the housing was developed in the neighborhood. Click to zoom in for a better look. Owens Field Airport was originally designed as two runways that intersected, forming an X. Much of Owens Field airport covered what is now Owens Field Park.
What we know today as Rosewood was then mostly farmland, forest, and orchards, with a few farmhouses. What we now know as Edisto Court looks like it was entirely forest.
The second picture was taken in 1955. Again, zoom in for a better look. Notice how much of the farm area was developed as houses by this point. Also, many of the streets we know today have filled in. I think I see my house!
The large forested area on the right is the area that bounds Gills Creek.
Thanks to Herrick Brown, assistant botanist with S.C. DNR, for researching these pictures for us!