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Public Reading Hall (1918)

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Building
Location type: Building
Location address: Netherlands, Noord Holland, Hilversum, Neuweg
Number of texts: 1
3 stars
Made by VVV Gooi & Vecht | Reference Collectie Publieke Werken, Streekarchief Gooi en Vechtstreek

The borrowing of a book used to be more complicated than it is now. A hundred years ago, women had to ask permission of their husbands to become a member of the library. You had to be older than 18, and if you were sick, the books were disinfected.

In the first social housing complex (1916-1919), on ‘Neu road’, there was apublic reading hall. The board of the Hilversum reading hall wanted very much to open a second reading hall and library in this neighborhood. Dudok, who made the plan for the Flowers neighborhood, was a big proponent of this. He was of the opinion that everyone had the right to information, development and relaxation. He managed to keep the construction within the budget. It became a picturesque neighborhood.

In the Spring of 1918, the board of the Public Reading Hall and Library Union asked permission to make use of two residences as a reading hall and library. It took a long time, but the public reading hall did come, and was installed in two gate houses. The reading hall appears to have been very popular. In the ‘70s of the last century, the reading hall was closed and renovated into two residences.

For the construction of the residential neighborhoods, Dudok was inspired by the vision of Ebenezer Howard, who was a leading British city planning expert and considered a garden city to be ideal. A garden city brought the advantages of city and countryside together. Hilversum lent itself exceptionally well to this vision. Due to added employment opportunities, it was a growing provincial city with a fantastic location near woods and moors.

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