Google Sinks Plans for that Mysterious Barge in Portland

We hardly knew ye.

Google barge. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Google barge. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Remember those mysterious Google barges that are floating in the waters of San Francisco and Portland? Honestly, neither did we until we saw a report today that one of them is being scrapped. The Portland Press Herald in Maine reports that the giant barge is on the move from Portland Harbor to a terminal in the southern part of the city where it will be demolished. The terminal’s owner said that an “international barging company” bought it and the vessel will be actually used for what it was built for: to ship stuff.

The four-story barge has given Portland residents the creeps since last October. The search giant has remained mum about what they were going to do with them, but the conventional wisdom was that they were going to be massive exhibition halls to show off products. Oh, and there was rumored to be a party deck too. Google didn’t return the newspaper’s request for comment. Gizmodo has a good guess regarding why the barge is being sunk:

It’s unclear why Google abandoned the project, but money probably has a lot to do with it: when new in 2011 the barges were worth $4 million a piece, it cost $400,000 in property taxes to moor in Portland over the past months, and refitting them was no doubt cripplingly expensive too.

Also, who wants to go to Portland?