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Vreewijk – Lede 40

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As of June 23, 2010 Lede 40 is a museum house. The last occupant was born on the premises and has never modernized it. At Lede 40, the history of the district Vreewijk is tangible. Owner Com • Wonen has asked the Historical Museum of Rotterdam to manage this unique home. With this house, the museum does not only want to present a tranquil era, but in cooperation with local residents it is searching for the story of all times about Vreewijk.

Vreewijk, also called Tuindorp, is a part of the district Feijenoord in the South of Rotterdam. In 1913 the first NV Rotterdam Tuindorp was founded by K.P. van der Mandele, J. Mees and L.J.C.J. van Ravesteyn. The purpose of this NV (Eng = PLC) was “to establish and operate one or more garden villages, particularly for less wealthy people.” The plan of the neighborhood is based on the original pattern of ditches in the former polder. Vreewijk is designed as a village and is characterized by much ‘green’.(trees and gardens)

The street pattern was developed by Berlage (western part) and Granpré Moliere (eastern). The houses were designed by Granpré Molière,  and J.H. de Roos and W.F. Overeijnder, who both  also designed the Sparta soccer stadium Het Kasteel.

In March 2007 Vreewijk was put on a list of 40 problem areas by Minister Ella Vogelaar. Com • Wonen, one of the biggest housing corporations in the district, has plans to demolish 85 houses in the area Bree / Maarland and replace them with homes for the elderly. Existing houses are outdated and would suffer from moist, mold and cracks in the walls. Therefor renovation would be too expensive and according to the housing corporation is no option. An action committee was established and protest against the demolition has been raised. Com • Wonen was accused of wrongly having moved people in order to have the houses empty. Anyway, the housing company partnered with the Historical Museum of Rotterdam that carries out projects in neighborhoods with residents, focusing on the living cultural heritage of the city. Com · Wonen supports this initiative because it respects the cultural heritage of Vreewijk.

“Today most of us are yet provided with shelter: but ‘living’ is a privilege of only a few of us.”

Could Granpré Moliere have foreseen how relevant this statement of his  would turn out to be in the future related to the district he helped build? In order to make up your mind on these issues, it can certainly do no harm to visit the museum house and talk with local residents. But also if you just want a glimpse into the past Lede 40 is worth a visit.

Opening hours: Tuesday and Thursday from 9.30 to 12.30 hours Wednesday from 9.30 to 16.30 hours.