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Emmastraat 56, J.A. Alberdingk Thijm school

Some more about the school that moved in next door of the family Farwerck and eventually ate up the villa itself.

In 1912 Farwerck senior bought villa Caecilia at an auction. At least, it’s almost certain that he was the winner of the auction, otherwise he should have bought it from the winner immediately after. The address was Emmastraat 58. The family seems to have moved in in 1915. Franz Farwerck would follow in 1916.

In 1878 the second owners of the villa built stables with living facilities. This building got as address Emmastraat 60. At the other side of Caecilia, there was another villa.

In 1921 a school bought the neighbouring villa and housed 36 students and 10 teachers there. In 1924 girls were allowed to come to school, so the number of students grew quickly which forced to school to enlarge. A wooden construction was built, which burned down in 1931. Then more serious rebuildings and expansions started to take place. These are quite well documented (2), because the architect was quite a famous one., Nicholaas Andriesse (1892-1947). Next we will mostly follow this report.

Contrary to the school history, the report about the school says that in 1922 (not 1924 as the school has) a wooden building was created which housed 8 classrooms and gym. That must have been quite a building. Later the building and the villa were connected. In 1931 this part burned down. Below you can see the villa and the new building on the drawing. Caecila was just to the left of this plot. The second photo is the wooden building. The image on the right is the building that was initially made after the fire in 1931.

“In 1967 the board bought the villa Caecilia next to Emmastraat 56 and established new classrooms there. Later the villa would be taken down to make room for the current new building, currently in use as administration building for United Schools Alberdingkh Thijm Foundation.” […] “At the plot of the villa of Emmastraat 58 temporary classrooms were arranged.” “In 1971 more temporary classrooms were built on the terrain of Emmastraat 56.”

So far the report. The remaining description aren’t of much interest to our story, but the report does haves some groundplans and situation sketches which are of some interest.

The image on the left is supposedly from 1981, but I either misread or the information is wrong. It is more likely that this is the situation before 1967. See that small building in the bottom left corner? Could that be what remained of Caecilia? For reference I added the groundplan of Caecilia from 1925. Could be?

The image below is supposed to be from 1977 and the other building looks way different. This is due to the enlargement of the villa in 1968. See below under ‘Hilversum archive’. This could mean that (a part of the) villa was still there until at least 1977.

What is a bit strange is that there are drawings up until 1999, but all later drawings are only of the inverted C. Apparently the building that replaced villa Caecilia never really became part of the school itself after the temporary classrooms were abandoned.

Perhaps this can be explained by the fact that the report says: “Later the villa would be taken down to make room for the current new building, currently in use as administration building” and later that “a new library and a new working place for administration was realised” in 1984.

That would mean that on the 1977 drawing we see the plans for this new building for administration which were realised in 1984. If that is true, it would be likely that Caecilia would only have started being taken down after the 1977 were approved. Perhaps Farwerck didn’t have to witness the demolishing of the house where he lived for over 50 years. Would he have heard of the 1968 plans (see below) before he passed away?

Hilversum archive

I ran into a digital archive for the municipality of Hilversum. There are some construction drawings there that are of some interest

On the left, you see the plans for an enlargement of Emmastraat 58 in 1940. On the right a plan for the enlargement of the school in 1968, that is a year after they bought the villa. Compare the parts that I’ve marked on the right to the drawing on the left. That bottom right corner still seems to be the villa, doesn’t it? The whole wing with classrooms and whatnot, seems to have been built against the villa. Also views of the building are given, but either these are only of the new parts or the villa is gone after all and only the groundplan remained. That would be a bit of a strange thing to do, so my guess is, the villa has literally been gobbled up by the school (and supposedly entirely replaced later (1984?)).

(1) History, accessed 24/2/2021

(2) Bouwhistorische Verkenning en Waardenstelling Schoolgebouw aan de Emmastraat 56, Hilversum (2010) (PDF, accessed 24/02/2021 – 23/02/2022 link broken, but the file can also be found here)


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