Jordaan . . Urban Renewal
Nederlandse versie updated  28-11-2001
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the Pain of Urban Renewal

At the end of 1960 the Central Administration of Amsterdam wants to demolish the Jordaan completely and put up all new buildings. But the heavy protests of the Amsterdammers are successful and from 1972 the Jordanese characteristic streets are preserved. The not too ramshackle houses are saved and, if neccesary, provided with some support beams on the outside, waiting for future thorough renovation; most of the foundations are not suited enough for the peat underground. The holes in the façade lines will be filled up, partly with rebuilding in the original style and partly with modern style buildings, sometimes screamingly provocative. The latter is possibly suitable in the outer cities, however in a historical district it hurts the eye and distracts for the wrong reasons from the so typical chaotic-looking but harmonic façade lines. And there are still old houses coming down, with permission or by accident. Much too often erected with cheap glew- and punaise constructions. Many of the streets have been changed from character. Not only by the constructions but also because of the disappearing of the little shops and workshops. Now housing lifeless galeries and antique shops.

What is lost forever
and what has come instead
in the last 25 years?



Gone Forever


This door
on the corner of Palmdwarsstraat and Palmgracht gave in the late 70's / early 80's access to a squatter cafe.

door squatter cafe

Jordaan fair

The yearly fair in the Jordaan
since human memory, but actually started in the early fifhties of the 20th century. It was hold the first week of september and it was guaranteed bad weather. Gone since 1997.

A once rustic children farm
with a sheep on the gardens in between the houses at the end of the Slootstraat was forced to turn into a children recreation ground with a fancy chicken- and rabbit-run.
...costs were over 80.000 guilden.

children farm

Jordanese lamp-shape store

The disappearance
of this real Jordanese lamp-shade store is a sad sign of the turning over of the original Jordanese culture into antique-shops and trendy cafés.

This well-known small lingerie shop
is gone now. The store window with its dusty fashion of the early days is the reminder of the once lively small Jordanese shops.

lingerie store front

little warehouse

This small warehouse in original condition
shows how a small Jordanese building looked before it was recently taken down. It was not a monument but an interesting cute building, clearly reflection the former vitality of ordinary life. Gone now.

Delft blue mural
of the Westertower. However, this artwork is forever hidden behind the necessary fillings of housing on empty lots.

mural of westertower

radio advertisement on façade

This radio and gramophone advertisement
still excist, but who knows for how long? Should'nt we cherish these signs of nostalgy and restore them as a reminder of how determinant the small trades people were on the Jordanese streetlife in those days?

asbestos problems
detected while renovating.



Renewal or Contempt


red cyclops The two cyclopses yellow cyclops


staircase 1 one
of those
is obviously
not enough.
staircase 2



Culture differences.
Modern and traditional are here in opposition of eachother. The old and neglected little tower is on this spot more appreciated than the ordinair black torso

Beauty & the beast

overhang Such an overhang
makes the already narrow
street unneccesary dark

One gives it the Mart Stam Price'98,
the other calls it sarcasticly the Blister.

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©keitje I'm not complaining , just explaining