Google's Useless Barge Boosts Portland's Tax Coffers

The Google barge is seen moored at the Port of Stockton Thursday, March 6, 2014, in Stockton, Calif. Google's mystery barge has arrived at its new home in the California delta after the Internet company was ordered to move it from San Francisco. The Google barge is seen moored at the Port of Stockton Thursday, March 6, 2014, in Stockton, Calif. Google's mystery barge has arrived at its new home in the California delta after the Internet company was ordered to move it from San Francisco. Ben Margot/AP

Once upon a time, Google had a dream. A floating dream. They wanted a showroom at sea, housed in a large barge. Unfortunately, this plan never got off the ground (or, um, sea) and now the Google Barge that never was is headed off to a sad fate: the scrap yard. 

The barge is four-stories high, made of 63 shipping containers. It was built in Connecticut before heading across the nation to the West Coast. A similar barge also appeared in San Francisco last year. Google said the barges would be "an interactive space where people can learn about new technology." The barge was supposed to head to New York after, where the technorati could check out different gadgets within it.

But the barge was never finished, and the project was essentially abandoned, though Google has not disclosed any reason why or provided further details about the project. 

The barge has been sitting in the Portland harbor since last year. This week, it wasmoved to Turner's Island Cargo Terminal in South Portland. There, it will be taken apart. Lance Hanna, the deputy harbor master at Portland Harbor, told the Portland Press Herald the 63 containers would be taken apart and sent to be scrapped. 

On the bright side, the city of Portland earned $400,000 in property taxes from the docked barge that did nothing. 


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