Emmastraat 58, Caecilia

Both Franz and his brother Willy were born in Amsterdam. The family moved to the Emmastraat 58 in Hilversum some time before 1914. Even though Franz is sometimes listed on other addresses (Rotterdam, Amsterdam, the second I can explain) he lived at the Emmastraat until he died. Or so I thought!

Nowadays there is no Emmastraat 58, the house is gone. I looked around a bit for what happened.

At number 56 a school is listed called Alberdingk Thijm. The school has a website with some history (1). Here it says (my translation):

On 3 October 1921 the R.C. [Roman Catholic] HBS [‘higher civilian school’] of Hilversum started in a villa at Emmastraat 56, with 36 students and 10 teachers.

So not too long after the family Farwerck moved in, they had a school for neighbours.

The school turned out to be a fruitful path to follow. Not surprising with a new school, the villa soon proved to be too small (click on the link of note (1) and see the little photo on the right). The building was enlarged with a wooden building which burned down in 1931. Imagine that in the next garden!
In 1938 a proper structure with chapel was built by architect Nico Andriessen.

During WWII the Germans seized and occupied the building. I also know that bunkers were built in Farwerck’s garden (at least, plans were made). The occupiers that he has so much problems with.

In 1954 the school again had to be enlarged and in the 1960’ies again there were expansions. What school website does not say, is that during this process, Farwerck’s house was gobbled up.

A not too professional website that publishes old material from Hilversum has an interesting entry with the plans for the reconstruction of Emmastraat 58 (3). It says that Haffmans and Roling Architects from Amsterdam took up the reconstruction in 1967. Note that Farwerck only passed away in 1969. The ground plans seem to have the original layout of Farwerck’s house, temporary classrooms in his garden and the new design.
The website has more information about Emmastraat 58. A partial construction drawing from 1925 and also a the drawing of the front that Hoogenboom (2) lists for the 1920’ies, but which the website puts in 1940. If the latter is the case, this is a drawing that was made for the reconstruction after the fire of January 1940.

Funny, by the way, the 1925 drawing (see below) has a byline: “commissioned by the honorary mister F.E. Farwerck; expansion for the placement of books, cases for personnel”.

A very interesting document can be found online (4). It is a report about the reconstruction of the Alberdingk Thijm International School from 2010. It starts with information about the architect Nicolaas Andriessen (1892-1947) and puts this architecture in Andriessen’s work. Under the header “Schools” a fairly detailed history of the Emmastraat can be found.

In 1921 the school moved into the 19th century villa. In 1922 the building had to be enlarged. The wooden building is here said to be a gym and it burned down in 1931. Andriessen took care of a small rebuilding and also started to plan to replace the original villa which was in a bad shape.

A first concept was turned down and then Andriessen came with a draft including a long stretched wing following the plot boundary between the school and Farwerck’s garden. This was executed which must have made an impact on Farwerck’s garden. The building was finished in 1938. As mentioned, a chapel was added.

After the war, parts of the building had to be rebuilt, but in 1955 and 1984 new expansions were carried out.

“In 1967 the Board bought the villa Caecilia next door and established classrooms in it.” So now Farwerck’s villa has a name.

Anyway: “Later, the villa was demolished in favour of a new building.”
More temporary classrooms were put in Farwerck’s former garden. This was already in 1968, so before Farwerck passed away.

The name of the house led to new information which made me able to give some history of the house. Noteworthy may be that Caecilia is some sort of patron saint in Hilversum with a guild named after her. Many of the villas seem to have had names by the way. Sometimes the houses are referred to by name rather than by address.

That said, the name was there before the Farwercks were. In 1878 there was an announcement in the newspaper that villa Caecilia were to be expanded with a coach house and stables. There we have the building that housed the personnel and later the sons of C.W. Farwerck. The name also led to a photo, see gallery below. The villa was bought around 1911 by a certain Vink and his family. Already a year later Vink passed away and the house was sold publically by a bailiff. I have found the selling price (ƒ 20.000,-), but not the buyer. A fact is that in 1912 Farwerck senior and his partner advertised the plans to build a carpet factory in Hilversum, a year later they were looking for personnel. My guess is that it were the Farwercks to got the villa from the auction.

I haven’t found many references to the name of the villa in the years that Farwerck lived there. It almost seems as if locals used the name, but the inhabitants didn’t. A newspaper item about the fire that I hadn’t found because the name is spelled “Fahrwenck” does use the name.

So, the family Farwerck moved in around 1911. Farwerck’s mother died in 1920, his father in 1930. The staff lived in the coach house until 1943 when Willy and Johanna Farwerck moved into the main building and their sons into the coach house. In 1967 the expanding next door school buys the villa, initially puts school classes in it, but soon takes the villa down to replace it with a new building.

So the big question that rises now: where did Farwerck spend his final days? My guess would be: with his sister-in-law in Amsterdam or perhaps he moved in with “mrs. Farwerck“? The mourning advertisement does have another address in Hilversum, so that could very well be the case. Franz seems to have moved in with a son of his brother and his wife. Quite a close family!


(1) Website Alberdingk Thijm (accessed 27/12/19)

(2) Tapijtfabrikant en Dominee by Hans Hoogenboom, March 2015 (PDF)

(3) Hilversum Clubs, accessed 27/12/19

(4) Bouwhistorische Verkenning en Waardenstelling Schoolgebouw aan de Emmastraat 56, Hilversum (PDF, accessed 27/12/19)

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