Friday, January 11, 2013

Amersfoort Then & Now

Utrechtsestraat, Amersfoort, ca. 1903-1917 (source: archiefeemland.nl).

The entrance to the city of Amersfoort from the south at the start of the 20th century. Until the early 19th century a large city gate (the Utrechtsepoort) dominated the area. At the far left we see the Amersfoort Boulder, symbol of the city. The nice building at the left is the city police station. A man is walking towards us on the bridge over the canal. Next to him the rails of the horse-drawn tram are visible.

Utrechtsestraat, Amersfoort, 2009.

The present day situation. The canal has been replaced by a ring road and the police station has been demolished. The futuristic building at the right is a snack bar. Sometimes progress in not progress.

next episode: ?

7 comments:

  1. Don't tell me Soviet city planners got to this little section of Amersfoort too! Thanks for pointing out the Amersfoort Kei, I would have missed it.

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  2. I didn't know canals got replaced, the old buildings have so much more character than the ones which replaced them.

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  3. This is quite deptessing - as in so may 'then and now' shots'. I prefer the ones where very little has changed. I'm not against progress but I am nostalgic!

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  4. It's a shame those old buildings were replaced. They were charming and distinctive compared with the present day buildings. Is the tower in the background a church steeple? It appears to be the only structure that appears in both images. Does Amersfoot have a historical preservation society?

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    1. Yes, although the church itself has been accidentally blown up at the end of the 18th century. And yes, there is an active preservation society. They buy old houses and restore them to their old glory.

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  5. The preservation groups do a great job saving old homes/buildings slated for destruction and preserving those in disrepair. It's too bad they didn't get started earlier in some areas before important historical buildings/areas were demolished in the name of "progress." Ellis Square in Savannah, Ga.(also known as the marketplace from the 1730s to the 1950s) was razed in 1954 to make way for a parking garage. This was the catalyst for the preservation movement to start in Savannah. I'm happy to report when the 50 year lease ended in 2004, the parking garage was torn down and Ellis square has been restored.

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    1. In Amersfoort the preservation movement started in the 1970s when the government wanted to build a freaking highway right across the medieval city center (talking about Soviet style planning). Luckily this has been avoided. Savannah has an interesting well planned city layout. I'm glad the square has been restored!

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