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From noodle district to English licorice

Van noodwijk tot Engels drop

H.J. van Baalen & Geert Poorthuis
woningbouwvereniging Rentree, 2008

Built just after World War I as accommodation for the many Deventer workers. Renovated in the 1970s in an attempt to reverse the decay and demolished and completely rebuilt in the early 21st century: the Driebergen neighbourhood and Molenwijk in Deventer have had an eventful century. As the new neighbourhood is completed, this book aims to tell the history of, above all, the ordinary people who lived and worked there. Who spent a happy childhood there, had children, grew old and died. A story that can just about be told now, because Deventer history was also made in the working-class neighbourhoods.

The beautifully renovated Driebergen neighbourhood is gearing up for a new chapter in that history. Daring architecture and a unique collaboration between Rentree, builders and developers have created a neighbourhood where it is good to live and work.


Hardly a brick of the old Driebergenbuurt and Molenwijk can be found: a colourful neighbourhood has emerged from the restructuring over the past five or six years. However, the history of this striking piece of Deventer comes impressively to life through authentic, human stories of (former) neighbourhood residents. To this end, chroniclers Henk van Baalen and Geert Poorthuis conducted a total of sixteen interviews last year. In the 112-page book they compiled at the request of housing association Rentree, they are gems among beautiful archive snapshots, some of which have never been published before. Up-to-date photographs and artist impressions complete the whole.


Van Baalen and Poorthuis look back on that ‘gathering period’ with satisfaction. “Everyone was very helpful. It has produced wonderful oral-history.”