|No.5 Grenville Place, Cork (via Kman999, Flickr)|
George Boole was the first Professor of Mathematics at Queen's College, Cork (now University College Cork) and is generally considered as the 'father' of computer science, although he wouldn't have known that at the time.
He died in Cork in 1864 at the young age of 49, of pneumonia after being drenched; walking from his then home in Ballintemple to the University to give a lecture in wet clothes. I have often used this story in my own lectures by jokingly telling students that it is a lesson for us all: if it's raining, don't go to college and stay in bed! Unfortunately, some students take the joke literally; although that's another story.
From 1849 to 1855, Boole lived in a house in Grenville Place in the city while working at the college (for a more complete biography of Boole, see here). This house has been derelict for at least as long as I can remember and probably much longer.
This morning, emergency services attended to the building with reports of a ceiling having collapsed. It is hardly surprising given the derelict nature of some of the properties in the locality.
|(via greeblemonkey, flickr)|
The National Inventory of Architectural Heritage describes number 5, Grenville Place as "Terraced double-pile two-bay four-storey former house over basement, built c. 1770, with full-height projecting bow to west elevation...This house is part of a fine eighteenth-century terrace with the six adjoining houses to the west and south-east, and this terrace forms part of a significant group with the terrace of four houses to the east. These terraces are notable pieces in the urban landscape which were built in the eighteenth century close to the fashionable former mansion house. The building is enhanced by the retention of interesting features and materials, such as the timber sliding sash windows, limestone paving, slate roof and interior fittings. The house is also associated with George Boole, the first Professor of Mathematics at Queen's College, Cork, who lived here in the mid nineteenth century."
The building at Grenville Place is a protected building on Cork City Council's list of Protected Structures (Ref PS129) and a plaque describing the connection with Boole is clearly visible on the front of the building. However, putting it on a list and erecting a plaque is not much good if roof and walls are falling down around it.
Meanwhile, at the same time as Cork is neglecting it's Boolean heritage, Boole's birthplace of Lincoln in the UK is preparing for Boolefest. This celebration of all things Boole takes place between the 29th October and 6th of Novemeber 2010 and will include exhibitions, performances and public lectures at the University of Lincoln.
|Number 5 during the floods of last November (with thanks to Mon Boys Forum)|