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Cambridge's Birkhoff House Looks for Third Owner Since 1940

Fayerweather Street in Cambridge's western environs is no stranger to luscious homes with gobsmacking price tags (witness William Weld's old haunt at No. 28). But the modernist exclamation point at No. 45 has to be one of the city's most unique homes anywhere. The house was designed in 1940 by Walter Bogner, a Harvard architect who was known before then to celebrate the Beaux Arts style in all its ornateness. Forty-five Fayerweather marked his transition to a more modernist bent—severe, clean, not a lot of frou-frou (which, we believe, is the technical term in architecture). Here was the Cambridge Historical Commission in July 2011 (PDF), when considering landmarking what came to be called the Garrett Birkhoff House, after its first owner, a Harvard math professor:

The use of antique red brick salvaged from a demolished Back Bay house kept 45 Fayerweather Street from being a textbook example of International Style design, but the texture of the brick enlivens the strong geometry of the composition. The house is well sited on a large wooded lot, with a conservatory facing a sunken garden that is surrounded by the foundations of the previous house on the site. The 5-BR, 4-BA, 2,755-square-foot house, with guest cottage, hit the market over the weekend for $3,400,000, an event in itself, considering it last sold in November 1995, when Birkhoff himself traded it to its current owner for $1,116,250. And, if this particular Bogner is not your kettle of fish, check out this 7-BR down the road. It's gotten really cheap.

· Listing: 45 Fayerweather Street [Zillow]
· Old Massachusetts 'Governor's Mansion' Slashes Price $501K [Curbed Boston]
· Cambridge Spread $500K Cheaper This Week [Curbed Boston]
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