Top Stories
text size

Behind The Scenes At Facebook

Updated: Wednesday, February 27 2013, 07:18 AM EST

One billion users log on every month. Three hundred million photos are uploaded every day.

Forest City's Facebook Data Center is huge - manager Keven McCammon says that - if you're on Facebook - at least some of your information has come through here.

The facility is composed of two buildings; the main one stretches about a quarter mile long and houses the cafeteria, Lego room, conference rooms and beer keg. It's where employees hang out and it's been made to feel like a place you would hang out, a key reason is that its walls are peppered with art. And not just any art - local art.

Artist Gabriel Shaffer did the mural in the common computing area and painted the koi pong on the floor of the cafeteria.

"There was a moment when they got back in touch with me and they told me I was going to do it," said Shaffer,"I do remember sitting down by myself and drinking a Pisgah Pale Ale and feeling a little nervous."

Shaffer's from Asheville and has left a mountain stamp on the wall of the most popular website in the world - his mural includes references to the region's Cherokee heritage, and some of his friends served as models.

"I wanted it to be a universal idea, and then I wanted it to have regional elements as well," said Shaffer, who incorporated old documents from a Biltmore Village business and blueprints used to construct the data center into his mural.

Rutherford County sculptor Tom Elfers made the "F" statue that stands in front of one of the buildings.

"The nervous part was, 'Oh my God I'm doing something for Facebook," said Elfers about initially getting assigned the job.

His was the first statue ever commissioned by Facebook.

"They gave us total artistic freedom which for corporate is a little bit unusual because they usually like to be very involved," said Elfers.

Keven McCammon runs the two buildings that are packed with servers storing the information of millions - and manages the roughly 80 employees.

"We have been blessed to figure out a way that we can actually commingle the opporuntity and being part of that community, but also locking down that information," said McCammon.

The center sits apart from Forest City's core and has manned guard shacks out front; from the outside, it's intimidating.

Yet if a local walked inside, maybe they'd feel at home. The food is from local restaurants, the employees come primarily from surrounding counties and the names on doors throughout the main building - are communities nearby like Booger Holler, Cherry Mountain and Chimney Rock.

"Unfortunately Rutherford County ... is a depressed area as far as jobs and economic wise," said McCammon. "That's our way of being able to give back the community … as much as we can do that's what we want to do."

By Ashlea Surles
Follow Ashlea on Twitter @AshleaSurles

Behind The Scenes At Facebook

Advertise with us!
Advertise with us!