For months, a four-story barge belonging to Google has been docked in Portland, Maine, while people speculated on the search engine giant’s plans for it. But now it seems Google has abandoned its vision of “an interactive space where people can learn about new technology.” On Monday, the barge was escorted by Portland Tugboat to Boston Harbor, according to MaineNewsOnline.com.
Roger Hale, owner of the South Portland terminal, told the Portland Press Herald, that the barge had been purchased by an unnamed “international barging company” and that the white structure composed of 63 shipping containers that sits atop the barge will be scrapped.
The 250′ barge was sold for $4 million by By and Large LLC, the barge company that represents Google, according to Boston Magazine.
The San Jose Mercury News reported that the barge was one of four oceangoing barges owned at one time by Google and parked on the East and West coasts of the U.S. When news of the barge sale was made public earlier this month, Google wouldn’t comment on the fate of the second barge on which they had built a structure that is currently sitting idle at the Port of Stockton, Calif.
Brian J. Fournier, president of Portland Tugboat, told Boston Magazine that Google’s barge project was a complete failure. “It’s 100 percent empty,” he said. “It’s nothing. It’s anticlimactic. It’s completely hollow.”
What do you think? Could the barge project have been a success? Do you think the idea of barges as high-end floating showrooms is a viable one? Would projects like this bring excitement to waterfronts?