ROTTERDAM - The third branch of department store chain Bijenkorf has been opened in the center of Rotterdam. The guests were welcome last night and this afternoon the other customers were also allowed to have a look for the first time. The new Bijenkorf is the largest department store in the Netherlands.

Schiedamsesingel was packed with people, when the doors of the majestic building were opened a little after 2:30. It was so busy that people were let in in groups of 50. The street was closed to normal traffic for hours.

“Yesterday afternoon is estimated to be between two thirty and six o'clock 30.000 visitors into De Bijenkorf- and went out. ”

(Rotterdamsch Nieuwsblad - 17-10-1930)
Advertisement Bijenkorf – 15-10-1930

Wonder of Technology

The building is already called a marvel of modern technology. The most striking feature are the escalators that connect the floors.

“People stood there in qeue as if it were a fair and they were transported to the top of a toboggan run. Many will have regretted it, that there was no slide to come back down comfortably. But so modern Hive yet. "

(Rotterdamsch Nieuwsblad, 17-10-1930)
* Post Card Beehive (1930), Stadsarchief Rotterdam

The roof terrace also has the most innovative gadgets of our time. In a few minutes, the closed lunchroom can be converted into a roof terrace, due to special movable roof parts.

“One push on the button for electrical conduction and the roof slides away; it can be stopped at any position; all difficulties and possibilities are foreseen ”

(The Fatherland, 15-10-1930)

Even after the closure of the department store, it remained busy. Numerous people crowded around the shop windows to get a glimpse of the items on display.

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The property, designed by architect Willem Dudok, was already open for a select group on Wednesday evening. Among the 500 attendees were mayor Droogleever-Fortuyn and the rest of the city council. There were also some members of the House of Representatives.

De Bijenkorf has grown considerably in recent years. The company started in Amsterdam in 1870 as a family business of entrepreneur Simon Goudsmit. In 1889 his cousin Arthur Goudsmit took over the business.

In 1894 De Bijenkorf had an area of ​​sixty square meters. Including the Rotterdam department store, this has now grown to 84.000 m². The total sum of salaries increased from fl. 5.000 per year (1889) until about four and a half million next year.

City of light, the forgotten Bijenkorf of Dudok – Peter Veenendaal

Hoe ging het verder?

De Bijenkorf hits ten years later, during the bombing of Rotterdam, largely damaged.

De Bijenkorf in Rotterdam, before and after the bombing. Foto: Municipal works Rotterdam, Elsevier photo collection, Pubic Domain

The building will reopen. In 1957 the new Bijenkorf will be opened on the Coolsingel, so at a different location. The old Bijenkorf was located at the intersection of Coolsingel with the Schiedamse Singel, that is slightly north of the current Churchillplein. You looked when you stood on the Hofplein and looked past the City Hall, at the very end so close to the department store.

Opening new Bijenkorf in 1957:


Rotterdamsch Dagblad – 17-10-1930 – Opening Bijenkorf

The Fatherland – 15-10-1930 – beehive

New Apeldoornsche Courant – 14-10-1930 – The Rotterdamsche Bijenkorf

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