The revival of the Jordaan
westerstraatWhen in the sixties the years of prosperity came, the civil servants thought it was time for large-scale replanning of the City. All the small impractical houses had to replaced by large blocks of new houses. Therefore the city council was also focussing on the Jordaan, a district which they had let ‘decay’ on purpose for many years, so that they could turn it down in one strike and replace it with new houses.

But there also started forms of capacitance against by several monuments conservators (such as the V.V.A.B.). In 1961 the monument law was introduced, so houses could be pointed out as protected monuments. As a first the ‘Claes Claeshofje’ in the ‘Egelantiersstraat’ was renovated.

jordaad

But the town development service did not wanted to recognize the Jordaan as a collection of monuments. The houses deteriorated, the population decreased and the upcoming car was fitting badly in the narrow streets. They thought there was only one solution for this: demolition!

 

Town development made a plan in which all bad houses had to be demolished and replaced for standard new houses. The ‘Rozengracht’ had to widen and the area at south of the ‘Egelantiersgracht’ was intended for office buildings and the there projected underground railway station.

 

Against this plan arose many protests of the monuments conservators, but also of the stayed behind inhabitants, who were frightened for hiring increases.

In 1970, Han Lammers started as alderman of public works. This alderman, who belonged to the ‘new left’ and was a well-known visitor of the ‘Leidseplein’, started his first day directly with it sweeping of the table of the demolition plans of the Jordaan.

He established a new plan for conservation and convalescence of the Jordan. The street pattern had to remain preserved and holes filled up with new houses, in the same style as the old houses.

The plan strived further to shops for the neighbourhood instead of large supermarkets.

paalslaanHowever the plan appearred to be difficult feasible, because of the out-of-date procedures and the laboriously operating administrative services. Because of this for the first time a negative remainder in house construction arose: more were demolished than had been built new.

In 1978 the new college, with Jan Scheafer and Michael of the Vlis, came with 'building for the neighbourhood'. They stared project groups, which got their own decision permission. So there was a project group Jordaan, which in dialogue with the neighbourhood, took over the plans. Thanks to this new policy the plans of for 1978 were still implemented after 1980.

However many of the original occupants stood rather sceptical against too much new houses in their neighbourhood, which moved up the hiring prices and therefore attracted more rich people (read: yuppies). Moreover there were the monuments conservators, which wanted to see only traditional old house fronts.

On the other hand modernisation was much more expensive than building new houses. Between these contradictions had to be found a golden middle course, what resulted in an alternating district, such as we still know nowadays.