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Van der Pekstraat

At the start of the twentieth century industries settled more and more in Noord, but there was no connection to the side of Amsterdam on the other side of the river the IJ. So homes were built in Noord. Arie Keppler (first managing director of the Urban Residency Services in 1915), Floor Wibaut (councilor Public Housing in 1914) and architect Jan Ernst van der Pek (together with Wibaut responsible for the Housing Act in 1902) were the advocates for the proper housing in Amsterdam-Noord. This is how garden villages arose: “A city heart just outside the city with a green atmosphere and with the character of a village, but with the qualities of a city”, says the founder, the British urban planner Ebenezer Howard. The garden villages in Amsterdam are designed neatly and symmetrically, with wide main streets and smaller side streets which all end on a square.

Nice to know! From 1900 till 1907 Amsterdam-Noord was home to the football club Ajax. Building houses meant Ajax had to move to Watergraafsmeer.

Buiksloot, Buiksloterham and Tuindorp Oostzaan are garden villages in Noord. The Van der Pek neighbourhood lies in the southern part of the garden village Buiksloterham. It’s situated in the Bloemenbuurt (Flower neighbourhood) which is easily detected by the names of the streets. In 1920 they began building the typical brick houses without front yards in the Pek neighbourhood. The Pek neighbourhood is like a village because of the low buildings and arches, courtyards, rounded streets, squares, shops and lots of greenery. The houses were nice and affordable so different people came to live here. During World War II this neighbourhood was hit by a bomb meant for the Fokker factory. Lots of houses got destroyed and most of the neighbourhood needed to be rebuilt after the liberation.

Bron foto: Stadsarchief Amsterdam. Jaartal foto: ca. 1930. Fotograaf onbekend

Source of photo: Stadsarchief Amsterdam. Year: around 1930. Photographer unknown.

Since the sixties lots has changed in Amsterdam-Noord, also in the Pek neighbourhood, partly because of the decrease of the ship building industry. The northern part of Amsterdam, the part on the other side of the river IJ, was renovated and therefor became popular. Creative entrepreneurs established themselves in Noord, nightlife grew and the street market on the Mosveld moved to the recently renovated Van der Pekstraat.

Jan Ernst van der Pek

The architect Jan Ernst van der Pek (1865-1919) was an idealist in housing. He disliked the idea of Amsterdam citizens with no money living in shabby homes without good sanitation. He felt that parents and children needed to sleep in separate rooms and houses should be aired regularly. He wanted to place running water and a toilet in every house. In 1895 he designed the first complex for the poorer citizens between the Lindengracht and the Goudsbloemstraat in the Jordaan. This project was part of the Public Limited Company Bouwonderneming Jordaan, which was founded with the mission to create better housing for the working people of the Jordaan. The project was quite successful and contributed to the Housing Act of 1902.

Van der Pek’s wife, Louise Went (1865-1951) played a big role in the contact with the residents. She worked as a housing supervisor and collected the rent monthly. This way Van der Pek and Went could hear what the residents thought of the houses and living conditions. Went was co-founder of the Vereeniging Woonopzichteressen (Association of Living Supervisors), co-founder of the first school for social work and since 1936 was the managing director of the PLC Bouwonderneming Jordaan.

The Mosveldmarkt

The market on the Mosveld exists since the start of the twentieth century. Mosveld and the Mosplein were built in 1922, just after the construction of the Van der Pek neighbourhood. It was natural to build a market there. In 1923 the garden village Oostzaan gained a market as well. However, both markets didn’t last long, in 1924 both were removed. Time wasn’t right.

In 1927 the market took place on the Mosplein, west of the football field. From 1927 till 1964 the Volewijckers played on that field. The club moved to the sports park in Buiksloterbanne. They had to make way for the first hospital in Noord, the ZAN. Now NH-Hotel resides in the building.

As from 1965 Noord is connected to Amsterdam through the new IJ-tunnel. The highway ends in a viaduct at the Mosplein, which is called the ‘Bult’ (Bump). The market has moved from Mosplein to Mosveld, where it once started. Now that the Van der Pekstraat is renovated and the street are more livelier, it was an easy decision to move the market to the Van der Pekstraat.

The regular street market of the Mosveld is joined by themed markets in the Van der Pekstraat. On Friday it’s a Farmers market and Saturday a Mixed market with traditionally made products, food, art, vintage and fashion. The street market takes place on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. The street market and themed market make a perfect combination. Old and new join forces and create an attractive Pekmarkt.

On the Mosveld the city will build a shopping mall that will contribute to the daily needs of the residents of the Pek neighbourhood, Buiksloterham and Overhoeks. The Pekmarkt can be seen as the red carpet of the new shopping mall.