George D. Birkhoff House

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George D. Birkhoff House
George D Birkhoff House Cambridge MA.jpg
George D. Birkhoff House is located in Massachusetts
George D. Birkhoff House
George D. Birkhoff House is located in the US
George D. Birkhoff House
Location 22 Craigie, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Coordinates 42°22′41.5″N 71°7′43.0″W / 42.378194°N 71.128611°W / 42.378194; -71.128611Coordinates: 42°22′41.5″N 71°7′43.0″W / 42.378194°N 71.128611°W / 42.378194; -71.128611
Built 1912
Architectural style Late 19th and 20th century revivals, Other
NRHP reference # 75000295
Significant dates
Added to NRHP May 15, 1975[1]
Designated NHL January 15, 1975[2]

The George D. Birkhoff House is a historic house located at 22 Craigie Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1975 for its association with Harvard University Professor George David Birkhoff (1881–1944), one of the most important mathematicians of his time.

The house is a three story Second Empire wood frame structure with a mansard roof. Its date of construction is not known, but is surmised to be sometime before the 1890s. The house is not architecturally distinguished, but its exterior has not been significantly altered since its construction. The interior, which follows a center hall plan, has had modernizing alterations, including conversion of the front parlor to have a cathedral ceiling, and the addition of modern plumbing facilities.[3]

George David Birkhoff was born in Michigan and educated at the University of Chicago and Harvard in mathematics. In 1912 he accepted a teaching position at Harvard, where he remained for the rest of his life. Birkhoff was influential in advancing the field of mathematics, solving Henri Poincaré's "last geometric theorem", and developing what is now called the ergodic theorem, a thesis important in statistical physics and the study of dynamical systems. Virtually every honor available to mathematicians was bestowed on him during his lifetime,[3] and there is a prize named in his honor.

Birkhoff lived in this house for eight years, from 1920 to 1928. It was declared a National Historic Landmark and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.[2][3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ National Park Service (2007-01-23). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ a b "George D. Birkhoff House". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Archived from the original on 2009-06-06. Retrieved 2008-07-12. 
  3. ^ a b c James Sheire (March 1975). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: George D. Birkhoff Residence / 22 Craigie" (pdf). National Park Service.  and Accompanying one photo, exterior, from 1975 (32 KB)