Expat housing in lost center of Jakarta

The Dutch builders disappeared — almost without a trace — some 70 years ago. It reminds me of City of Ember.

You can’t help but notice how straight Jl. Teuku Umar (originally Van Heutsz Boulevard) is. But where does it go? Well, at one end you’ve got the Buddha Bar (originally the colonial immigration office), and on the other end the Sharehouse (don’t forget to cross the tracks, the Ciliwung River and flip around one more circle park). In 1925 this was Weltevreden, an elite, world class neighborhood with lovely gardened roundabouts, fountains, and fancy streetlights — like Amsterdam.  Little  of that has changed. But it is like a mystery wrapped in an enigma. The further you go from this part of town, the more it seems to fall apart. That’s because this was once the center and now there is no center.

As adjectives, Indisch and Indo parallel mestizo — a reference to mixed people or culture, including architecture.  Nas and Grijns describe the “open look” of the roomy priyayi mansions (another fusionistic term) in this part of town (Weltevreden, a vast tract 12 kilometers south of Batavia).  The look has something to do with verandas and spacious gardens.  Pictures aren’t that easy to find.

Is it really the verandas or is it broad eves and is it Javanese, Japanese, Dutch or what. Developing. There is a fractal sprawl about it all.  It seems that as the city grew inland, and into the kampoeng (Dutch spelling), the kampong (British) grew into the city.

Meanwhile, there’s an open-ish look about the Sharehouse just now. Seems the lower front bedroom is spoken for. But that leaves an entire upstairs, October-ish.

with three lovely sunny rooms — available either now or within a month. Add an Image

3 responses »

  1. Pingback: History of the Dutch builders in Menteng « Instant Expat

  2. Pingback: Walking Tours of Menteng– Indonesia’s first “garden city” « Instant Expat

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