An almost untouched original Menteng residence on Jalan Banyuwangi 9. This is howMenteng looked like in the 1930s and 1940s. Jalan Banyuwangi is a hidden treasure anyway as this street is quiet during the day as well as at night when they close the boom gate at the entrance with Jalan Moh. Yamin. Especially in the evenings it feels like you are walking in Menteng 90 years ago.
Pak Nur, who is also the caretaker of another original house on Jalan Lombok 1, kindly let me in three years ago. Although the ceiling has disappeared and most of the interior is empty, most original fittings are still there. The house dates back to 1932 and also features on the front cover of the book “Wonen in Indië” (House and Home in the Dutch East Indies), published by TongTong in 2000.
Jalan Banyuwangi consists of 13 houses. Only this one and the house on number 15 are still original. All other 11 houses are now modern dwellings.
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.
A lively and colourful scene along the east side of the former Molenvliet canal in a rare colour photo of 65 years ago. Prominent at the front the characteristic washing ladies who have featured on so many historic Molenvliet pictures and who indeed were still present in 1954, but sadly a scene of the past and simply unimaginable in today’s Jakarta, let alone along this polluted canal.
Kebon Jeruk mosque
At the back the Kebon Jeruk mosque which still exists along today’s Jalan Hayam Wuruk number 83 (see photo in comment box). The first mosque on this site was already built in 1786 by Chinese muslims, and there are still a few original 18th century elements present today. In the back yard there still is a tombstone dating back to 1792. The side street to the right is now called Jalan Mesjid Kebon Jeruk but in the 1950s still known as Gang Mesigit. On the corner a few warung stalls and a sign that points to Hotel Inder, further down the side street. The photo was taken by Everardus de Jong.