Restoration of listed house "De beurs van Londen" in Delft project video thumbnail
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€135 pledged of €225,000 goal
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By Ronald van Dijk
€135 pledged of €225,000 goal
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About

Help us restore the listed canal house called “De beurs van Londen | The stock of London” in Delft dating from 1544 with unique beam paintings and partly open it as a museum.

Front view of the house and museum area (yellow)
Front view of the house and museum area (yellow)
Room before and after restoration (artist impression)
Room before and after restoration (artist impression)
Room before and after restoration (artist impression)
Room before and after restoration (artist impression)
Room before and after restoration (artist impressions)
Room before and after restoration (artist impressions)

 The story

The canal house is located in the centre of Delft on the Oude Delft, the main street of the city. Our first visit to the house took place in March 2013. We were impressed by the size of the house, the way how its various parts dating from different time periods are combined with each other and the quite horrible condition of the house. It took us several months to understand how to give this house a new life. During this time we tried to collect as much as possible information about the history of the house.

The first mention of it was in 1555: the building was a barn belonging to the house of the sheriff of Delft. However, in 1578 the son of the sheriff rebuilt the barn into a house big enough for the time period. The house is already visible on the map of Delft dating from 1581, accompanied by another separate two-storied house standing behind it: the back-house.

Map of Delft, 1581
Map of Delft, 1581

As time passed the two buildings were connected and became one house. In the 18th century the house was once again expanded by the addition of a building adjacent to the side of the back-house. A large scale renovation of the whole house took place in 1850. The house received a completely new gable, at the front and back, and a second floor was added to the front- and back-house. The side house received an additional floor as well. Every part of the house has unique features of its time and tells its own story.

Unique features from different time periods
Unique features from different time periods
Unique features from different time periods
Unique features from different time periods

From 1623 to 1625 Englishmen inhabited the house and it got named “De beurs van Londen”. The house kept this name until the renovation of 1850. Recent research into the history of the house led to some speculations that cannot yet be proved. The house could have been visited by the English traveller William Brereton, famous for his diary, and could have been the residence of merchant and head of court Sir Edward Misselden (author of “The Circle of Commerce”).

Until 1906, the house had always been inhabited by respectable and rich people. From that year it respectively became a tobacco and cigar factory, a tea and coffee trade house and a printing house for school textbooks. After the Second World War it once again became inhabited. Since the beginning of the 20th century the house has not been properly maintained and finally became a student accommodation.

Current condition of the roof
Current condition of the roof
Current condition of floors and ceilings
Current condition of floors and ceilings
Current condition of the walls
Current condition of the walls
Current condition of the windows
Current condition of the windows
Humidity problems and current condition of wiring
Humidity problems and current condition of wiring

 The restoration

Since the beginning of 2014, we, Ronald and Olga van Dijk, started to restore the house while renting it. The plans for 2014 were to organise regular financing to purchase and restore the house. During the rental period the restoration consisted of removing all recent hardboard to discover the true condition and features of the listed building.

Ronald & Olga van Dijk
Ronald & Olga van Dijk

Dendrochronological research carried out in 2008 by Delft University of Technology showed that the beams on the first floor of the oldest part of the house (what was originally the barn) date from 1544. In April 2014 we started to remove the paint off the beams using a hot air blower and a scraper.

Almost immediately under the fat layer of yellow paint, we discovered floristic ornaments on the first three beams. The fourth and seventh beam prepared a real surprise for us, as we found hunting scenes painted on them. According to the fashion of the depicted figures, the paintings date back to 1620: the time when Englishmen inhabited the house. These kind of hunting scenes were not common in Holland and have many similarities with scenes depicted on English Tudor tapestry from the same historical period. 

The building has been in the centre of attention of Dutch National Heritage ever since. Following a press release from the Dutch National Heritage, reportages on the unique discovery appeared in Dutch national and international media. 

Media
Media

On September 13th & 14th 2014, the house was opened for visitors. 959 people used this opportunity: they admired the paintings, enjoyed the historical tour through the house and left the building with great delight.

Open days
Open days

 We want to move further with our plans to restore the house and partly open it as a museum where people can always come and see the unique beam paintings from 1620 together with a guided historical tour through the history of the house. We did hope to get financial support from the Dutch government in order to realise our plans. However, it turned out that the authorities have only been interested in the project up until the moment of its financing.

Due to the fact that the house requires a large restoration, we do not have money for both buying the house and for its restoration. Only with your help we can guarantee the safe existence of the building with its unique paintings. Only with your help we can guarantee that people can come to the museum and admire the restored house with their own eyes. 

The University of Amsterdam will be closely involved in the restoration of the beam paintings. The Delft Authorities have already agreed for a temporary permission for opening the house as a museum during its restoration. This opens the additional opportunity for visitors of the museum to experience the process of the restoration.

For an overview of all our steps a Facebook page has been created and can be visited at 'www.facebook.com/debeursvanlonden'. There you will be able to find additional information about future activities.

IF I CONTRIBUTE TO THIS PROJECT, WHAT WILL THE MONEY FUND?

If the fundraiser reaches Euro 225,000, we will have enough money for the following steps:
primary restoration of the house: roof, drainage, outside walls, windows

virtual museum: an online virtual museum (situation after completed restoration)

equipment: new electrical-water-gas-sewers installation, air conditioning system


rewards: preparation and shipping of the gifts created and manufactured specifically for this project to all the backers.

media campaign: the constant communication and activities with the media in order to let the house be known everywhere and allow a fruitful fundraising campaign around the world.

Rewards pics
Rewards pics

Risks and challenges

The most important challenge for us is to reach Euro 225,000 to finance the project. If we reach the goal, the restoration work will start and the house will be opened as museum.

We have chosen a highly qualified restoration company which already worked with listed buildings.

Our deadline for the restoration is end 2015.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge €10 or more About $12

    A high-definition digital photo of the beam paintings and of its virtual reconstruction with a special thank you.

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    Pledge €25 or more About $29

    In addition to the above, a digital "Donation Certificate” of the restoration of the room with the unique beam paintings of De beurs van Londen.

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    Pledge €50 or more About $59

    In addition to the above an original historic nail from the building. Your name will be mentioned in a published book that will follow after completion of the restoration.

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    Pledge €100 or more About $118

    In addition to the above an original piece of wood from the building with a burnt logo of ‘De beurs van Londen’.

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    Pledge €200 or more About $236

    In addition to the above a mouse pad with original reproduction of one of the figures featured beam paintings plus a CD with chamber music recorded at ‘De beurs van Londen’.

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    Pledge €300 or more About $353

    In addition to the above a commemorative mug and a t-shirt.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge €500 or more About $589

    One ixxidesign.com collage (1m x 1.2m) with photos of the beam paintings plus a physical donation certificate. Your name will be mentioned in a published book that will follow after completion of the restoration.

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    Pledge €1,000 or more About $1,178

    Two ixxidesign.com collages (1mx1.2m) with photos of the beam paintings and unique details in the building. A physical donation certificate. Your name will be mentioned in a published book that will follow after completion of the restoration.

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge €2,500 or more About $2,944

    In addition to the pledge of €1,000, a one night stay for two people in the neighbouring hotel in Delft plus an excursion through ‘De beurs van Londen’ and a visit to the organs of the Old and New church of Delft.

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    Pledge €5,000 or more About $5,888

    In addition to the pledge of €1,000, a three-night stay for two people in the neighbouring hotel in Delft, an excursion through 'De beurs van Londen', a visit to the organs of the Old and New church of Delft, a harpsichord concert in the ‘De beurs van Londen’ and an organ concert in the Old Church of Delft.

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Funding period

- (45 days)