Google is no stranger to eco initiatives with their many investments in solar power and alternative energies, but unfortunately they still do have quite a few guilty carbon pleasures like their fleet of private jets. But at least they’re trying to make the place that houses these planes green by possibly restoring and repurposing NASA’s Ames Research Center Hangar One. The iconic, curved building is currently one of the largest structures of its kind, and is large enough to house all eight of Google’s planes so it’s a win/win.
The massive hangar sits on the historic Moffett Field in California, and was itself built back in the 1930s. Initially raised for the colossal zeppelins of the past (namely the U.S.S. Macon), the hangar has been standing empty since the Navy has abandoned using giant airships and blimps.
The hangar, which covers eight acres of interior space, is enclosed without the aid of any interior columns or supports, making it one of the largest freestanding buildings in the world. Since its disuse, the structure has gone into a state of disrepair, and is in desperate need of restoration (an expense that NASA can’t justify) as its outer shell is coated with toxic chemicals. Rather than tear the impressive building down, Google has offered $33 million to restore the hangar in exchange for being able to use two thirds of the interior to park their fleet of eight jets.
A commercial occupation of the historic landmark may ruffle a few feathers, but without Google’s offer, the hangar would likely be reduced to rubble, or remain derelict until it is beyond repair. Should NASA make a deal with Google and jump back on the giant airship wagon, they would still have over two and a half acres of parking space.