California's Silicon Valley is always looking forward to the next big thing. Today, we celebrate the preservation of its past.

The Moffett Field deal announced Monday between the federal government and a Google subsidiary is the culmination of a long and crucial battle. Though we don't yet know the details of how Google will use the space and operate the site, we do know this was the only chance to restore the historic Hangar One and guarantee its survival.

U.S. Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto, has been working for years to find a way to preserve the eight-acre site, built in 1932 to house the massive Navy airships that at the time were seen as a technological breakthrough. The tens of millions of dollars it will cost to reclad the outside of the building — which had to be stripped of toxic materials — was not going to come from the federal government.

Now, Google will pay for that work as well as set aside part of the hangar for a public educational institution so we can all learn from its past. It's a wonderful example of the public and private sectors working together for the common good. The outcome means Hangar One can continue to provide the kind of inspiration Silicon Valley needs to keep moving ahead.