Across from the Betty Asfalt Complex and the Postzegelmarkt, on a small square at Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 287, almost at the height of the Sint Luciënsteeg, there’s a wooden former police station from 1896. It was created in Swiss chalet style by Amsterdam’s Dienst Publieke Werken (Department of Public Works) and served a public toilet from 1915 to 1984. The small building has been a national monument since 2002. Now it is a restaurant called Stadspaleis.
The endless centralisation-decentralisation sine wave so loved by all bureaucracy was responsible in 1878 for a reorganisation of the police and the creation of many small police stations in Amsterdam. There were more than 50 of these police posts, created to watch over each neighbourhood. The old nightwatch was canceled and police officers were supposed to deal with 48 hours shifts on foot — these stations served as resting places. Every district had two to four of these posts, manned day and night. They also served as temporary detainment and first aid spots.
Only Three Remain
Of these wooden police posts only three remain: the one on the Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal across from the Postzegelmarkt, one near the Frederiksplein on the Achtergracht 11F and one on the Buiksloterweg 9B (northern part of Amsterdam across the IJ). All others have disappeared, most of them demolished when the squares they stood on were renovated.
The former police post on the Achtergracht is a municipal monument, dating from 1897. It was moved here in 1913 from its original location on the Hemonylaan. This was a type B police station, smaller than the type A one on the Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal. It was decommissioned in 1924. The current occupant is goldsmith Mélanie Pigeaud.
The station on the Buiksloterweg 9B was constructed in an adapted provincial style of the Amsterdam School and dates from 1915. It was decommissioned around 1965 and is a national monument.
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