March 23, 2018
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Google: Portland’s mystery barge an ‘interactive space’ to learn about technology

Seth Koenig | BDN
Seth Koenig | BDN
Workers at Cianbro's Rickers Wharf Marine Facility in Portland inspect what appears to be a ramped entrance into a box-like four-story structure delivered there by barge.
By Chris O'Brien, Los Angeles Times

To all you digital Encyclopedia Browns out there: The case of the Google Mystery Barge is now closed.

Google has issued a statement explaining the mystery.

“Google Barge … A floating data center? A wild party boat? A barge housing the last remaining dinosaur? Sadly, none of the above,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement released Wednesday. “Although it’s still early days and things may change, we’re exploring using the barge as an interactive space where people can learn about new technology.”

This is largely in line with what we reported last week. According to the lease for Hangar 3 on Treasure Island where the structure was built, the purpose was “fabrication of a special event structure and art exhibit only and for no other purpose.”

CNET originally broke the story that Google was building something on Treasure Island out of shipping containers. But the original story speculated that it might be a floating data center, based on patents Google had obtained for creating such a facility.

Since then, a second barge was spotted near Portland, Maine. And there appears to be paperwork for at least four barges.

In November 2012, the company that signed the lease for Hangar 3 and the surrounding area when work first started was G and K Media, a firm based near Spokane, Wash., that produces special events for large corporations and other clients.

The lease was signed by Kris Hemenway-Sheets, whose LinkedIn profile describes her as a line producer for the media production company.

Reached by phone last Friday, Hemenway-Sheets said she had signed a nondisclosure agreement and could not discuss the project.

“I have to remain silent on this for now,” she said. “It’s going to be fun. I’ll promise you that.”

Distributed by MCT Information Services


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