Wednesday, February 22, 2012

For Sale: Ireland's Scientific Heritage

George Boole's former home at Grenville Place in Cork City is now up for sale as an investment 'site'.

For €350,000 you can purchase this large city centre building which was once home to Queen's College Cork's first Professor of Mathematics and the 'Father' of modern algebra.

The house has been in a poor state of repair for some time and a structural collapse and 'making-safe' last year has led to significant damage to the roof and interior of the building.

At the time of the collapse there was significant enthusiasm for this building to be saved and restored. Over 1,200 people signed a petition to have the building urgently repaired and restored.

Now the building is up for sale with Global Properties as an investment site - apparently failing to mention that the building is listed on the Cork City record of protected structures and as such, cannot be demolished.

The property is described as a "Large site adjacent to the Mercy hospital and the Tyndall UCC overlooking the River Lee. Ideally-suited for Medical suites given it’s proximity to the Mercy Hospital".

Irish Examiner columnist and property editor Tommy Barker wrote recently about the property at number 5, Grenville Place suggesting that there was still hope that it could be saved: "While Boole’s house has been badly damaged by ravages of time and a partial building collapse, there’s surely enough IT entrepreneurs and major IT companies in Cork to rescue it in his memory."

It now seems that the time is right for a saviour of this building to emerge. Given Cork City Council's reluctance to get involved (they are still rebuilding quay walls alongside the property more than TWO YEARS after they were destroyed), perhaps Tommy Barker is right; perhaps it is time for the private sector to step up to the plate and make a contribution towards restoring this iconic and historically important building?

More details on Boole, 5 Grenville Place and the rest of this story in my earlier posts on the subject.


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