As WW-II clouds gathered in 1941, the Navy knew it would soon face vast problems of moving and housing people and materiel. What they needed was an inexpensive, lightweight, portable structure that could be put up quickly and easily.
What they got was the Quonset Hut, named after the production facility set up near Quonset Point, Rhode Island. Engineers Peter Dejongh and Otto Brandenberger, working for the George A. Fuller construction company, moved so quickly that they were producing units while the design was still being tinkered with.
The Quonset hut skeleton was a row of semi-circular steel ribs covered with corrugated sheet metal. The ribs sat on a low steel-frame foundation with a plywood floor. The basic model was 20 feet wide and 48 feet long with 720 square feet of usable floor space. The larger model was 40 by 100 feet. Throughout the war, they served as cheap housing, MASH units, barracks, you name it.
Around 170,000 Quonset huts were produced during the war -- enough to house the combined populations of Portland and Seattle. When the war ended, they were too good a resource to throw away... so the military sold them to civilians for about a thousand dollars each.
And that's where we get a cache. Perhaps you've come across a hut serving as an antique store, or a garage, or even a church (we actually know someone who got married in one... and Donna had CLASS in one)! There's one nearby here in Pasadena, and two within a mile of each other where I grew up in Palo Alto, California. Find one in your neighborhood, snap a photo with your GPS, and tell us how the historic building is being used today. Please make sure to note the city AND state in your log! All the usual Locationless Cache rules apply, of course.
The attached photos are for one of the huts in Palo Alto, now a sports bar. Notice the false front, designed so that, from the right angle, you can't tell it's a hut.