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Rotterdam in 1923

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Dec 1st, 2015, 06:57 AM
  #1
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Rotterdam in 1923

"But what did the city look like before the 1940 bombing" is an enduring parlour game with Rotterdam afficionados. Here's an aerial photograph from 1923 that gives you an idea. If you compare with googlemaps, look out for St Lawrence's church and take it from there. Certain features are still recognizable, such as Binnenrotte (the traintrack in the middle), Hoogstraat and Oude Haven. In all other respects the city is unrecognizable
https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4011/4...2945c31b_o.jpg
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Dec 1st, 2015, 08:25 AM
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Thank you for that Menachem.

Now I have an idea of what Rotterdam looked like back then. I may have told you that my grandpa shipped out of Rotterdam to NY in 1912, after coming across Europe every-which-way from Russia. He was quite impressed with the city and often talked about the three weeks he waited there for passage. On a visit to Netherlands a number of years ago, I walked the streets near the port, feeling I was walking in his footsteps. Emotional.

I often offer spiritual "thanks" to him for not staying on in NY after coming through Ellis Island..instead, took a train to Boston where he met up with old friends in my hometown of Quincy.
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Dec 1st, 2015, 08:39 AM
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menachem; Such a beautiful city.

Consider reading 'The Wayfarers'.
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Dec 1st, 2015, 09:03 AM
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Thanks @iris1745! I've got another book on the stack I need to read first (Mary Beard's SPQR, brilliant book) Fascinating history as far as I could see from the reviews.

And @tower, I think we compared family histories before: my father's family traveled among the same route, more or less, but were held in Rotterdam because my father's brother was asthmatic and they considered that to be TB like, so the entire family was barred from embarking. Eventually they settled in the north of the Netherlands, with the aid of a charitable society.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f1hWnv-WGc8

this is from the 1920s too.

Weirdly, I live in one of the oldest parts of the city. Most of the scenes you see are a stone's throw from where we live.
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Dec 1st, 2015, 09:05 AM
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This was made earlier this year

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGfpOIumQHM
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Dec 1st, 2015, 09:31 AM
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Menachem--

Thanks. Brings back memories of our all-too-brief visit earlier this autumn.

Given our reaction to contemporary Rotterdam, not sure the old would have been an improvement. Then it would have been like so many other older European cities instead of a model contemporary city.
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Dec 1st, 2015, 09:46 AM
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That's true. Jules Deelder, Night Mayor of Rotterdam, jazz connoisseur and poet often says that the bombing was the best thing that could have happened to Rotterdam

Here he is, on the London Underground, weirdly

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IsrvaBHJLMA

The poem is an ode to his daughter, Ari. If you cycle through the Beneluxtunnel (a dedicated bike tunnel) you'll see this poem on the wall, in one straight line. When the poem ends, you're at the other side of the tunnel.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qaY1xdzcGGQ
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Dec 1st, 2015, 10:19 AM
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menachen; A follow up to The Wayfafers. Click on Branko.

http://www.youtube.com/results?searc...y=Stuart+Tower
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Dec 2nd, 2015, 01:45 AM
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»the bombing was the best thing that could have happened«
Whether that's true or not, the post-war reconstruction of the city centre delivered its own iconic architecture which, after the passing of time, is getting more and more appreciated. Personally I still find the demolition of the 1950s Centraal Station an act of vandalism.
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Dec 2nd, 2015, 10:33 AM
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@tonfromleiden, I totally agree with you about the fate of Van Ravesteijn's Central Station. I was interviewed before it was torn down as one of the "mourners" for it. Although, truth be told, the original design would have been much more successful but couldn't be built because of shortages in building materials. I'm very glad that his Station Noord remains and that Bergweg Station will be restored.

Also, what's unnerving in Rotterdam is the tendency to tear down and build new if buildings don't fit expectations. That tide has now been stemmed, but it meant many iconic buildings were demolished that shouldn't have been. Or needn't have been. This was already going on during WW2, in the earliest stages of the Witteveen plan.

The latest trend is the "cozying up" of huge areas of the city. The latest area to fall victim to this is Binnenrotte, one of the last empty spaces in the city, where the original West8 design is now being replaced by red bricks and a lawn...

I'm glad that the area where I live (Hoogkwartier) is experiencing an architectural revival. Suddenly there is more appreciation for Reconstruction architecture. And that's a good thing.

http://www.hoogkwartier.nl/over-het-hoogkwartier/
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