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.
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 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 None of these houses have survived the demolition, and have all been replaced by quite standard modern buildings without much character.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.