Thursday, February 7, 2013

Greetings from Amsterdam!

I am in Amsterdam, Noord Holland, The Netherlands.  My sister Kim lives here.  The weather is just above freezing and rains, snows, hails, clears up, and then repeats the cycle.

Today Kim showed me actual Dutch architecture.  This will help me better identify Dutch Colonial structures back in New Jersey and New York.

Note the ornate black muurijzer (wall iron).

A muurijzer anchors a support beam for an upper floor and runs from the front facade to the back facade.

The thin verticle black muurijzer above the center window is more typical of the understated Dutch style.

Buildings are made of brick.  Both the length and the width are seen because bricks are laid perpendicular to one another to form a thick, sound outer foundation to the structure.

The heavy layers of bricks cause excess moisture build-up.  Look for a small  metal tube protruding slightly to ventilate.

Stadsherstel (city restoration)
This sign on a building indicates that the building is historical and the exterior may not be altered.

The wide doors probably indicate that this structure was a barn.  Existing shutters cannot be removed.

Window shutters on a historical building.

This historical building is now a clothing store.

The hook on the wall must remain, even though nobody needs to hitch a horse anymore.

Note the support beam that runs from front to back.

Bikes are the preferred method of transportation.
Compare this row of parked bikes to the traffic congestion in Nieuw Amsterdam (Manhattan).

Dutch house under construction.
This structure is unusual because it is free-standing/not attached to another structure.

KinderKookKafe
Modern-day business in old barn.

Note that the muurijzer on the left is missing and replaced by a sort of plug.

Old hook to hold open the large door.

Newer hook to hold open the door.

More to follow . . .