Maine’s Google Barge, meant as a luxury showcase, to be scrapped instead

Robert F. Bukaty/AP
Robert F. Bukaty/AP

When Google started floating two mysterious barges — one on each coast — the theories ranged from floating data centers to Google creating its own tech sovereign nation. The planned reality — a glitzy product showcase on the sea — was still pretty out there, but now not even that will come to pass, at least not on the East Coast.

The Portland Press Herald reports that the barge is being sent down for scrapping, leaving Portland, Maine nothing but the $400,000 extra it collected in property taxes as the barge sat unused:

On Wednesday, a tugboat towed the barge from Rickers Wharf Marine Facility in Portland and deposited it at Turner’s Island Cargo Terminal in South Portland. Roger Hale, owner of the terminal, said the structure had been purchased by an unnamed “international barging company” and was being prepared to leave Portland for an ocean voyage to an undisclosed location.

The containers, though, will be disassembled at Turner’s Island and scrapped, said Lance Hanna, deputy harbor master for Portland Harbor.

Google isn’t pulling up all of its earthly ties and ascending into the Googlesphere quite yet, though. It’s officially expanding the company’s Cambridge presence on Aug. 5 with a ribbon cutting to showcase its newly connected three offices in the heart of Kendall Square that will house almost a 1,000 local employees.

Michael Morisy is the founder and former editor of BetaBoston. Follow him on Twitter at @Morisy or email him at
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