Markley’s data center in Boston has something in common with the Leaky Cauldron in London, the fictional magic pub that is featured in the Harry Potter saga: you cannot find it until you know it’s there.
That’s why Morgan Woodruff, an executive of the company, called it “an urban secret.” None of the customers of Macy’s would suspect that right above the department store in Downtown Crossing there’s a nearly one million square foot data center that serves The Red Sox, universities, medical and pharmaceutical organizations based in the area, as well as more than 90 domestic and international network providers, like AT&T and Comcast.
Markley’s data center is what experts call a “carrier hotel.” Think of all the tourists coming to Boston from outside the U.S. They all have a phone and a provider of services in their own countries. When they enter the States, their providers get automatically reconnected to AT&T or other American networks. Well, the third to eighth floors of the Macy’s building is where that magic happens. According to Woodruff, 93 domestic and international carriers connect here.
The third and fourth floor are the spaces where around 100 employees (mostly engineers) have their desks. The entire space is decorated with custom artwork from Ray Turner, the artist who has painted all of Markley’s employees, and murals from Boston-based graffiti artist Percy Fortini-Wright. There’s a reason for that: “Jeff [Jeffrey D. Markley, CEO] is a huge art collector,” who focuses mostly on modern and contemporary art, Woodruff said.
Portraits are the most common pieces of art in Markley’s office. In addition to portraits of every single employee of the company on display at the two entrance halls on the third and fourth floor, there are wall-wide close-ups of some of the world’s most famous innovators. Each of the 20 conference rooms at Markley is named after famous innovators, including Steve Jobs, Nikola Tesla (who’s also the scientists that another local office, Finally Light Bulb’s, pays tribute to), Ada Lovelace and Alan Touring.
Take a look at the office and the data center space in the following gallery: