Located in the heart of Orange County, the nearly 1,600 acre former Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Tustin was commissioned in 1942 and played a critical role in Navy and Marine aviation for over 50 years. In 1991, a portion of the former MCAS Tustin was selected for closure, and additional portions of the facility were selected for closure in 1993. In late 1991, the City of Tustin was selected as the Lead Agency, or Local Redevelopment Authority (LRA), and was charged with preparing the required reuse planning documents. On July 3, 1999, MCAS Tustin was officially closed, 57 years after the base and its iconic hangars arose from the farm fields of Orange County.
After years of extensive study and public outreach, a Reuse Plan was adopted by the community in 1996 which was subsequently amended and adopted also as a zoning document entitled the MCAS Tustin Specific Plan/Reuse Plan in 2003 and has been subsequently amended. The document includes detailed planning standards, policies, regulations, and implementation strategies to guide the reuse and the development of the site. The ultimate build-out of the Tustin Legacy project is expected over 20+ years.
The Tustin Hangars: Titans of History, a 25 minute award winning video documentary featuring the acquisition of the former Marine Corps Air Station Tustin by the U.S. Navy and the design, building and life of the Tustin hangars premiered on September 21, 2009. Over 200 members of the community attended the premier, many of whom commented on the superb quality of the presentation and how moved they were by the documentary which revisited WWII, the catalyst for the acquisition of the base and construction of these icons of Tustin. The hangars continue to be under the purview of the U.S. Navy. Their disposition as part of the Tustin Legacy Redevelopment Project has not been finalized.
Written Documentary - The City of Tustin and County of Orange published a written history of the Lighter-than-Air Blimp Hangars at the former Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Tustin entitled “The Tustin Hangars: Titans of History, a historical account of the MCAS Tustin Hangars.” Approved by the Department of the Navy, State Office of Historic Preservation (SHPO) and Federal Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, the document does an excellent job of conveying the sense of time and place that the hangars represent. The document is a well-written, thoughtful piece that captures the architectural and military importance of the structures to the people of California.