Restoration project: former residential home and vicarage Lutheran Church.
The facade of this listed building, dated 1889, oozes elegance. The outside of this double property hints at an exceptional and beautifully detailed building. It was originally in use as the vicarage of the Lutheran Church which was located on the other side of the canal (and now serves as a ‘dental clinic’).
The last minister who lived in this property is reverend Piet Kok. After studying theology, he became assistant pastor in Utrecht and Leeuwarden. He graduated at the Amsterdam Rijksakademie after the war. He married his fellow student Dirkje and was appointed to Weesp in 1950. In this extraordinary property, they raised a beautiful family who paid a lot of time and attention to the arts. From 1948, Kok designed more than eighty windows, including windows made of stained glass, glass separated by mortar, glass appliqué and sand blasted glass. He also created murals, mosaics and wire sculptures. Many of his designs have been preserved. His wife painted a portrait of Queen Wilhelmina (1966). She survived her husband by decades, before passing away in 2020 aged 97. The property still displays its illustrious history and love for Monumental Art.
Traces from the past
Time has left its mark on the interior of the property. The marble floor in the hallway shows signs of the many steps taken by funeral and wedding parties. Different styles and adjustments have been made to the property since it was built in 1889. The journey through time also takes us to the colourful seventies and eighties. Luckily, many original features have been preserved; from hand painted tiles in the fire place to the original sash windows and interior shutters. History presents itself in many different places in the property. From the original storage units in the storage room to the wrought iron curls of the balconies and stair cases. Many of the original frames of the (sliding) doors and windows are still in place, as is the original hardware dated early last century.
The large garden at the back of the property is a true explosion of colours. The love of gardening welcomes you with its mesmerising flowers and fragrance. There are two gates on each side of the property. The gate on the right was once used to take pigs to the slaughterhouse; the gate on the left enters into the storage room where in the olden days coal and cattle feed were kept.
Weesp has been a borough council of Amsterdam since March 2022, however, the ancient fortified town on the river Vecht has not lost its charm and character. Weesp has a beautiful historic centre and well kept canals. This part of the water is specifically suitable for small, open boats and connects to ‘De Kom’, with access to Muiden, Utrecht and Amsterdam. The Oudegracht is located in the heart of the centre of Weesp. This side of the street operates a one-way system and is used by the occasional pedestrian and cyclist. Shops and outdoor terraces are located on the other side of the Oudegracht. The Nieuwstraat runs parallel to the Oudegracht and houses a weekly market on Tuesday morning and an organic food market on Friday. You can park along the canal (residential permit in place), however, the main highlights of Weesp are within 5 minute walking distance, including the train station which operates excellent train connections to all corners of the Netherlands. The local amenities are outstanding, including local businesses and the lowest number of vacant commercial businesses in the area. No major chains but independent stores and a large variety of restaurants, bars and cafés including plenty of outdoor terraces.
Taking a closer look at the house
The property is of a generous size, 9.85 metres wide (not including the storage room on the side of the house) and is 11.35 metres deep. From the front door, featuring a stained glass window, the marble floor in the hallway runs all the way to the back and splits the property in half. Upon entering, you will find the ensuite living room on the right. The living room is located at the front of the property and the two windows overlook the canal. The sash windows can definitely be renovated, the sash balances and roller window screens are still in good condition. The hand painted tiles in the large fire place are real eye catchers, as are the decorative ornaments and frames on the high ceiling. The wide wooden floor boards are in great condition. The built-in bookcases on both sides of the sliding doors are somewhat hidden by wallpaper. The original sitting room oozes in natural light. A lot of the original features of the fire place and tiles have been preserved, although the original heaters have been replaced by a gas fire. The French doors lead to the beautiful garden.
The dining room is located on the other side of the hallway, and is completely symmetrical to the living room ensuite, including the double sash windows. This room was initially used as the reverend’s reception room. At a later stage, a window was constructed in the kitchen wall and this room was then used as a dining room. The other kitchen window overlooks the original well next to the house. The kitchen also has access to the storage room. With a bit of imagination, you can see the clogs from the Kok children stored here. It is now mainly used to park bicycles. A cellar/pantry is located next to the kitchen. It is not difficult to visualize this being transformed into a wine cellar at some point. The large bathroom, with its freestanding cast iron bath, is located at the back of the property - a somewhat unusual location for our modern standards.
A spacious staircase, with exquisite features and a double set of decorative lions, leads to the first floor. The sides of the steps are beautifully decorated. The barred staircase is richly decorated and runs all the way to the hallway, which is flooded by natural light thanks to the skylight. The first floor houses no less than five bedrooms; three of which are a similar size to the living room/sitting room, a smaller garden room and a small room located next to the toilet. The hallway leads to a small balcony, located above the front door. Following the floorplan of the ground floor, the rooms at the back of the property and the hallway lead to three French balconies which feature elegant wrought iron details and have stained glass windows above the doors.
A fixed staircase leads to the large attic, with beautiful original beams and trusses. A small bedroom has been created here, with a dormer window and built-in wardrobes. Story goes, people were hiding here during the Second World War.
The outside of the property
The property still has plenty of ‘curve appeal’, including a gable stone above the doors leading to the balcony, decorated with a Swan, the symbol of the Lutheran Church. Two bricks in the rear facade of the property bear witness to the first resident, Lutheran reverend
J. Bergman. The bricks used to build the property have different colours, varying from dark red to bright yellow, and are used in a beautiful and tasteful design.
This vicarage deserves a new future
Close your eyes a little bit and imagine how this ‘elderly’ property can be restored and be given a new lease of life. All ingredients necessary are already there.