A last look at the ramshackle, pre-gentrification streets of Amsterdam’s Jordaan neighbourhood. Urban renewal assessment photographs from 1970-1983, by an anonymous city planning employee.

Hoek Driehoekstraat, Jordaan. 1971.

A working-class stronghold, renowned for tight community bonds, radical politics, a love of drink and a strong tendency to violence and vice, Amsterdam’s ramshackle Jordaan neighbourhood in the late 1960s/early 1970 was a strong candidate for urban renewal. 

These photographs were taken by an anonymous employee from the city’s Spatial Planning Department during its assessment of the district.

Fifty years after they were taken, these images hold so much more than socio-economic evidence gathered for a city government department. 

Today, decades of gentrification have brought galleries, restaurants, concept stores and boutiques to the ancient streets of Jordaan, obliterating the soul that radiates back at us from these images.

Willemsstraat, Jordaan. 1971.
Lindengracht, Jordaan, 1971.
Girls in lampshade factory, Jordaan, 1971.
Herring and sour stall, Jordaan, 1971.
The Oudezijds Achterburgwal, 1983
Children’s playground on Tolbrugstraat, 1974.
Flower shop with owner, c. 1970s.
Children’s playground on Anjeliersstraat, c. 1970.
Haarlemmer Houttuinen 86, outside Dommersstraat and Tussen de Bogen, c. 1970.
Second Tuindwarsstraat ll, c. 1970.
Retirement home residents on Westerstraat, Jordaan,
c. 1970.
Children on street, unknown location, Jordaan, 1971.
Inside a pub on Westerstraat, c. 1970.
Vinkenstraat, c.1970.
Girls at the seed trade on the Lindengracht, c. 1970.
Rozengracht rooftop, Jordaan, c. 1970.
Children on a bench in the playground, Palmdwarsstraat, Jordaan, c.1970.
Dapperstraat, 1978.
New Leliestraat, Jordaan, c. 1970.
Tuinstraat, c.1970.
Radio and TV wholesaler, Jordaan, 1971.

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