We have often posted about Menteng and the demolition of protected cultural heritage. However sometimes we should also celebrate great efforts of preservation. Probably one of the best examples is the house on Jalan Sam Ratulangi 46 (on the corner with Jalan Cemara), which had been empty for a long time, but was beautifully restored in 2017 by the Plataran Group and is now a venue for weddings and special events.
This characteristic house was designed by renowned architect P.A.J. Moojen and when it was completed in 1914 it was amongst the first 50 houses in the new Batavia district “New Gondangdia”. At that time the street was called Nieuwe Tamarindelaan (New Tamarind Lane).
The plaque on the building today mentions that the house was built for a certain Mr. van der Tas. However we have not been able to confirm this via the “Adress Books” and newspapers of the time. The only Van der Tas in Batavia in the 1910s lived on Laan Raden Saleh 38.
What we do know is that at least between 1925 and the early 1930s this house was owned by Johan Christiaan Bik (1877-1934), employee of the firm Tiedeman & Van Kerchem, and a distant relative of author Sven Verbeek Wolthuys.
During the renovation the building has been extended with some additions, however the main building and its features including roof, ornaments and stained glass windows, have all been preserved and are back in excellent condition. It is only a pity that a high wall has been installed so that this historic building can no longer be admired from the street. Obviously this has been done to create privacy and to protect it from the traffic noise of today’s Jalan Sam Ratulangi.
Nieuwe Tamarindelaan became Jalan Asem Baru (“Asem Baru” is Indonesian for New Tamarind) in July 1950, however during a special ceremony on 14 February 1957 it was renamed into Djalan Sam Ratulangi to commemorate the national hero who lived in this street after World War II until he passed away in 1949.