Huis de Pinto

St. Antoniesbreestraat 69
Elias Bouman
David Emanuel de Pinto
Cultuur, Kantoren

This building in Sint Antoniesbreestraat in the city’s Nieuwmarkt area has an unusual history. It is situated opposite the cemetery Zuiderkerkhof and is surrounded by modern buildings built in the 1980s. The seventeenth-century building was saved from demolition in the 1970s. Since its construction in 1602, the building has had various uses. It currently houses an exchange library and is a venue for cultural activities.

It was built in 1602 for Jan Janszoon Carel, one of the founders of the Dutch East India Company (VOC), which was established in that same year. He purchased six adjacent plots, on which he built this building. It comprises a narrow side section on the left and a wide main section to the right. It probably had a double stepped gable. In 1651 it was sold to the Portuguese-Jewish De Pinto family, from which the building takes its name. In 1686, David Emanuel de Pinto engaged Elias Bouman to radically remodel the building. Bouman gave the building the sandstone façade in the style of Dutch Classicism that is has today. The building remained in the possession of the De Pinto family until the end of the nineteenth century, after which it fell into disrepair.

In the early 1970s, the building was threatened with demolition in order to make way for the construction of the metro and a dual carriageway – part of the so-called urban core formation. The De Pinto Foundation succeeded in saving the building, thereby preserving the street’s historic building line. The foundation restored the building, after which it was given a community use. Up until 2012, the ground floor housed a public library. At the beginning of 2014 it became a literary and cultural meeting centre with an exchange library. (ARCAM/RB)