Our De Gruyter Building
We are so proud of our monumental building!
Our building used to be one of twenty De Gruyter stores in Utrecht: others were located in the Twijnstraat, Burgemeester Reigerstraat, Kanaalstraat and on Amsterdamsestraatweg and Vredenburg. The De Gruyter group was founded in 1818. It originated in Den Bosch, but the successful retail formula started at Vredenburg. Halfway through the last century, the group had 550 branches. Due to the inability to respond in time to the changing wishes of consumers (wide range of branded products and self-service), the group closed its doors in 1977.
Luxurious appearanceDe Gruyter stores had a luxurious interior with crystal chandeliers and marble counters. Other features were the particularly beautiful shop fronts, the fresh scent of coffee and the 'Sweets of the Week' for the children. The name of the shop was always in large Jugendstil letters on the facade. It is also clearly visible (again) on our facade.
TableausForty shops had ceramic tile pictures with Brabant landscapes and exotic scenes, made by the Utrecht-based company Holland. Only in our building, which was opened in 1911, these tableaux can still be seen in their original state. The building and the tableaux are a municipal monument.
Van Rossem vertelt: 'Utrechts Blauw'
Het laatste deel van deze uitzending werd bij ons in het pand opgenomen!
De uitzending gaat over de Utrechtse tegeltjes, die eeuwenlang huizen in binnen- en buitenland sierden. In Utrecht zijn bijna vier eeuwen lang tegels gemaakt en beschilderd. Het is een industrie die vele bloeiperioden heeft gekend en die Utrecht pas in de jaren '90 heeft verlaten.
This film is about the Utrecht tiles, which decorated houses in the Netherlands and abroad for centuries. In Utrecht, tiles were made and painted non-stop for almost four centuries. It is an industry that has seen many boom periods and only left Utrecht in the 1990s.
The enormous demand for tiles originated in the 17th century. Tiles are heat-resistant, moisture-resistant and easy to remove; hygienic. In short, the ideal wall decoration. Many tiles from Utrecht were exported to the countryside. But blue and white Utrecht tiles are also in demand abroad. The tiles can even be found in palaces in Russia and Poland. Maarten van Rossum goes in search of the traces that tile history has left behind in Utrecht. The two best known tile factories of Utrecht were 'Holland' and 'Westraven'. Tegelfabriek Holland became famous because of the enormous art nouveau tile pictures that adorned many grocery stores, such as those of De Gruyter.