Playa Vista
9 Images

Photos: Where the Spruce Goose was built then and now

Playa Vista
The former Hughes Aircraft Co. headquarters in Playa Vista has been acquired by developer Wayne Ratkovich and is slated for a $50-million makeover. Above, Howard Hughes’ infamous Spruce Goose under construction in a vast hangar in the complex. ()
Playa Vista
A July 1945 photo shows Hughes Aircraft Co. workers putting the finishing touches on the 320-foot wing of the Spruce Goose. The Playa Vista hangar where it was built is now used mostly as a sound stage for movies and television shows. (Associated Press)
Playa Vista
Howard Hughes sits at the controls of the wooden flying boat nicknamed the Spruce Goose before its first and only flight on Nov. 2, 1947, off Long Beach. (Associated Press)
Playa Vista
The 200-ton Spruce Goose flies just above the water off Long Beach on Nov. 2, 1947. The flight, the plane’s only one, lasted about a minute. (Associated Press)
Playa Vista
Elizabeth Kubasak, assistant development manager of the Hercules Campus, and Jerry DeSantos of Raleigh Studios walk through the massive hangar where the Spruce Goose was built. The hangar generates about $1.3 million a year in rent from film and TV productions. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
Playa Vista
Developer Wayne Ratkovich plans to turn the former Hughes Aircraft Co. complex in Playa Vista into an office campus. Among the tenants he is targeting are media, entertainment and technology companies. Above, the interior of Howard Hughes’ former office in one of the 11 buildings. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
Playa Vista
Wayne Ratkovich has plenty of experience renovating historic buildings. His previous projects include the Oviatt and Fine Arts buildings and Wiltern Theater in Los Angeles and the Alex Theatre in Glendale. Above, the giant redwood beams that support the Spruce Goose hangar. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
Playa Vista
Elizabeth Kubasak, assistant development manager of the Hercules Campus, walks through the helicopter hangar at the former Hughes Aircraft Co. complex in Playa Vista. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
Playa Vista
A view of part of the 28-acre site of the former Hughes Aircraft Co. headquarters, which is being purchased by L.A. developer Wayne Ratkovich. The $32.4-million deal is expected to be completed Friday. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
1/9