“The so-called Google barge, once envisioned as a floating showroom for Google Glass and other high-tech gadgets, is heading for a less glamorous future now that the structure on top of it is destined for the scrap yard,” Tom Bell reports for The Protland Press Herald. “It’s a pitiful end for a great mystery that generated national attention when the strange-looking barge was towed into Portland Harbor last October.”

“The barge carries 63 shipping containers arranged to create a four-story building. The structure was assembled in New London, Connecticut, and the barge was towed to Portland, where Cianbro Corp. was scheduled to do interior work on it, including the installation of undisclosed technology equipment,” Bell reports. “Cianbro has never disclosed the identity of the barge’s owner or its purpose. A similar mystery barge appeared on the waterfront in San Francisco last year. After some digging by reporters on both coasts, Google admitted that it had commissioned the barges to serve as ‘an interactive space where people can learn about new technology.’”

“When finished, the barge in Portland was to be towed to New York City and opened for an invitation-only crowd of hip and affluent urbanites. Never mind,” Bell reports. “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… Still, the city made out financially, collecting $400,000 in property taxes on the barge while it sat in the harbor.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Our Lady of Transitory Endeavor strikes again:

Google Reader, Google Gears, Google Buzz, Google Pack, Google One Pass, Google Lively, Google Listen, Google Barge…

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers "Fred Mertz" and "Lynn Weiler" for the heads up.]