Google buying hangar where Spruce Goose built, but why?

Nate Swanner - Aug 27, 2014
Google buying hangar where Spruce Goose built, but why?

Google may be getting some new digs — in Los Angeles. A massive hangar, once owned by Howard Hughes, is reportedly being eyed by Google. People familiar with the discussions say Google is close to inking a deal to buy the oddball facility. The only question remaining is “why?”.

Building 15 was where Hughes oversaw construction of his Spruce Goose airplane. The plane was bigger than anything before (or since, really), and the hangar speaks to that. Custom built for the plane, it has two 750-foot hangars, and reaches seven stories at its peak. That’s all open space, too.

Much of the facility has been turned into office space, but not the massive hangar. Of note is that YouTube is already a tenant at this location. Movies such as “Independence Day” and “Transformers” have also been shot in the massive building.


A building with a history, and a history of movies being filmed there. Google has begun making a push for more polished content for YouTube, even going so far as to tap Hollywood’s shoulder for help.

We’ll speculate that Google is buying the facility for one of two reasons: YouTube, or Google’s X Labs. An actual studio would help YouTube find favor with some bootstrap content creators who want to punch above their weight. Having a cache of tools like specialty cameras or lighting would also entice those interested to find their way to Building 15.

Then again, the hangar was already the home of one moonshot idea — why not more? If Google X needs space to test out their projects, this might end up being a very private spot to do that.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

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