Former wooden police station, Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal, Amsterdam

Wooden Police Stations

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.

Former wooden police station from 1896 on the Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal, Amsterdam

Former wooden police station from 1896 on the Nieuwe­zijds Voorburg­wal, now restaurant Stads­paleis (February 2021).

Police Reorganisation

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.

Former wooden police station on Achtergracht 11F, Amsterdam, now goldsmith Mélanie Pigeaud

Former wooden police station on Achter­gracht 11F, now goldsmith Mélanie Pigeaud (June 2020).

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.

Former wooden police station on Buiksloterweg 9B, Amsterdam

Former wooden police station on Buik­sloter­weg 9B (photo Rijks­dienst voor het Cultureel Erf­goed).

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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