After Bos en Lommer, Slotermeer is the oldest of the Western Garden Cities of Amsterdam. This first garden city outside of the Ringspoordijk (the western part of the railway ring around the city) was opened by Queen Juliana on the 7th of October 1952. The first residents arrived in the autumn of 1952, coming from the busy city centre or as migrant workers from the countryside. In this post-war neighbourhood there was plenty of space, greenery and water, creating a pleasant living environment. At the heart of Slotermeer the lively Plein ’40-’45 square is situated, host to a daily market. It is surrounded by shopping streets with many shops and local businesses, the Garden City Hall (the ‘town hall’ of the district of Nieuw-West since 1990), hotels and a small harbour. It also features the Freedom Carillon at its centre which, like the name of the square, commemorates the Second World War. In addition, various streets are named after resistance fighters.
Even though Slotermeer saw no large-scale demolition or new building projects, it did see renovation of prominent buildings such as the so-called Paint boxe flats (built between 1954 and 1956) and the Airey-houses (built in 1952-1953). Additionally, several new projects have added to the streetscape. For instance community centre De Honingraat on the Slotermeerlaan and the school building De Heldring next to the Gerbrandypark.
Fortunately, we can still experience the atmosphere of the early days of the neighbourhood. A good example of this is the municipally protected city site, known as the Van Eesteren Buitenmuseum (the Van Eesteren Outdoor Museum). The museum offers a guided walk in the outdoor museum every Thursday to Sunday, at 13:00. The Van Eesteren Museum House is also situated in Slotermeer. It has been refurbished to its original state and furnished in the style of the fifties and is open to the public. The museum offers guided a visit to the museum house every Thursday to Sunday, at 14:30.