Blueprint filed to restore Boole home

Plans have been lodged with Cork City Council to restore the home of maths pioneer and the forefather of the information age, George Boole.

Blueprint filed to restore Boole home

University College Cork and the George Boole 200 programme have filed for planning permission from the local authority to restore No 5 Grenville Place, Boole’s former lodging.

Boole lived at Grenville Place from 1849 until 1855, where he had the freedom to fully develop his ideas on pure mathematics.

The planning bid seeks approval for a ground-floor visitors centre and flexible open-plan spaces for business and research above. A fundraising campaign for the works will begin in June.

RELATED: Home of maths genius George Boole set for grand design

Stabilisation works will proceed and plans for the building are available for public viewing from the council.

The library at UCC first acquired Boole’s papers in 1982, enabling Des MacHale to produce a thorough biography of the mathematician. Over the intervening decades, the university archives have catalogued and now digitised Boole’s papers for public access.

Boole, the first professor of mathematics in UCC (then Queen’s College Cork), passed away from “effusion of the lungs” on December 8, 1864.

While walking to the university from his home in Blackrock a few days earlier, Boole was caught in a heavy rain storm. He lectured all day in the university in wet clothes and became ill.

Although he never had the opportunity to gain a university degree, the Royal Society awarded Boole the first gold medal for pure mathematics in 1844. In 1857, he was made a Fellow of the Royal Society. He was awarded an honorary LLD by the University of Dublin in 1851 and received an honorary DCL from Oxford University in 1859.

His obituary, reported in the Cork Examiner on December 9, 1864, stated that, “had he lived a little longer, he would have received a like honor from Cambridge”.

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