The hangar, built in 1929 by the Curtiss-Wright Flying Service, was the first building at Owens Field, a municipal airport then 3 miles South of the city limits. Curtiss-Wright build and operated numerous airports across America for the next two decades, also offering flight training. The airport, named for Mayor Lawrence B. Owens (1869-1941), was dedicated in 1930 with an airshow seen by 15,000 spectators.
Regularly scheduled flights began in 1932, and civilian flight training becan in 1939. Observation flights of the U. S. Army Air Corps began in 1940, and military training by the U. S. Army Air Force continued through World War II and beyond. In 1962 the city transferred the airport to Richland County, which has owned and operated it since. The hangar was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1998.