In 2007 the Municipality of Delft commenced a giant reconstruction of its railway and bus station area, the Spoorzone ("Railway zone" in Dutch). Goal: to finally delete the main railroad between the cities of The Hague and Rotterdam above ground, as it cut right through the city, and construct a new, bigger station with the tracks underground alone. For that purpose a 1,8 kilometre (0.6 miles) long tunnel for four tracks was going to be constructed, with station platforms for travellers 8 metres (26 feet) underneath street level.

The original Delft station house in July 2009.

Moreover, city planners wanted to revamp the entire station area in what they dubbed New Delft. People were forces to leave their homes, historic houses typical for Dutch inner cities were demolished and new, modern buildings came in their place. The only thing remaining was the main station house of the old railway station. Designed in the Neo-renaissance style by      Christiaan Posthumus Meyjes sr., the Stationsgebouw served as the gateway for rail travellers to/from Delft between 1885 and 2015, when the new station was opened.
In the months leading to the disappearance of the historic houses that marked the station area for decades, an art project that includes local artists and schools took flight. The buildings closest to the station house were painted in the Delft blue colour, famous on porcelain.
At the beginning of this Millennium, I regularly visited Delft for business - including in the year 2009 when the demolition took flight. The photos I took I never published, until 2 February 2024. First up is the series taken by me in July, when voiced through photos, text, colour and art, the buildings were giving their final farewell.

The yellow-red sign reads Bicycle stand in Dutch. On the white enrichment underneath the roofs it reads (partly invisible on this photo): Invisible red trains will go through our city - - and we disappear silently from view. The photos show the people that once lived in the buildings.

The small street leading to the old station house was called the Van Leeuwenhoek Canal, named after the self-taught scientist Antonie van Leeuwenhoek from Delft most commonly known for inventing the microscope and experimenting in microbiology. Until the new station house was built, the Van Leeuwenhoeksingel was mostly known of the thousands of bicycles parked on it.


2nd Series
The 2nd series of this album have been taken on the same day in July 2009, but focuses on the former Van Leeuwenhoeksingel street south of the old station house. None of these houses have survived the demolition, and have all been replaced by quite standard modern buildings without much character. When taking these photos, most residential buildings were already left deserted by its inhabitants, pending the destruction and some boarded up as to say no more glory days for us. What the people that lived here left were many notes, advertisements, posters visible on the outside. I have added a few photos taken on the northern side of the former station house. Also, these have all been taken down and replaced by a modern structure called Huis van Delft (House of Delft) and the new station house. And yes, there were still many bicycles as well.
"Knock on the door, because the bell does not work."
"Knock on the door, because the bell does not work."
The De Jong House
The De Jong House

The red poster advocates a public transport card for all students, also those at medium-level polytechnic schools.

A Dutch team (Holland) supporting flag
A Dutch team (Holland) supporting flag
Need love?
Need love?
No against unadressed advertisements by mail
No against unadressed advertisements by mail
Number 2 or 9?
Number 2 or 9?
Prohibited to park bicycles and mopeds, apart from in the designated parking spots
Prohibited to park bicycles and mopeds, apart from in the designated parking spots
Advertising a concert of the band Keane
Advertising a concert of the band Keane
Stuff on the move
Stuff on the move
Saying goodbye before leaving for the train.
Saying goodbye before leaving for the train.
Sign reads: Depot to pick up removed bicycles
Sign reads: Depot to pick up removed bicycles
Front of the former dance school, which had a license to serve alcoholic beverages (Tapvergunning)
Front of the former dance school, which had a license to serve alcoholic beverages (Tapvergunning)
Back to Top