Google's Barge Is Going to Become Scrap Metal

At least part of the project is done and the containers atop the barge will be scrapped

By on August 1st, 2014 12:37 GMT

After making headlines all over the world and making people wonder just what exactly it could serve for, Google’s mysterious barge is apparently heading towards the scrap yard.

The Portland Press Herald reports that the structure that was supposed to host a showroom for Google’s creations, such as Glass, is going to end up in the worst way possible.

The barge that made its way into the Portland Harbor last year is formed out of over 60 shipping containers arranged in a way that creates a four-story building. The structure was reportedly put together in New London, Connecticut, and towed to Portland, where work was supposed to be done on the interiors.

Another similar barge popped up in San Francisco around the same time, prompting Google to admit to commissioning the two barges to serve as “an interactive space where people can learn about new technology.”

The structure in San Francisco encountered some paperwork troubles and had to be towed out of the harbor. It was thought that the company would simply work on the project elsewhere, but it now seems that the end is near for the barge.

The publication reports that a tugboat towed the Portland barge to Turner’s Island Cargo Terminal, where the owner of the terminal said the structure had been purchased by an unnamed international barging company and that it was going to be disassembled; the barge will set out at sea and the containers will be scrapped.

Portland officials are sad to see it go, saying that the Google barge was good for the city’s image because it linked Portland with San Francisco and the notion of high tech innovation.

“Bummer. I was hoping for something to come from this. Everybody was waiting to see what was actually going on,” said Jessica Grondin, spokesperson for the city of Portland.

On the other hand, it’s also a loss for Google, not just because the company is missing out on an awesome presentation space unlike any other available, but also because estimates indicate that it must have cost millions of dollars to put together.

Not only was the barge worth about $4 million (€2.99 million), but the containers were also expensive, as well as the actual construction of the four-story building. The city hall also collected some $400,000 (€299,000) in property taxes on the barge while it was sitting along in the harbor.

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