The Kromme Nieuwegracht has been there for many centuries. Since the beginning of the Common Era people have been living in its proximity. However, the houses closest to the Kromme Nieuwegracht, including the building of the Verwey-Jonker Institute, date back to the 17th century.
The Verwey-Jonker Institute occupies two buildings, number 4 and number 6. Archive data shows that people first resided in both buildings around the year of 1680. For centuries, the house at number 6 was owned by two different families. Mr. Willem Pesters lived there with his wife between 1698 and 1774 (76 years, followed by his daughter Johanna Hester Heldevier and her husband. She sold it to the sisters Strik van Linschoten. The sisters, and later, their families, lived there until 1899 (125 years). The last private owner was mayor Van Asch van Wijk. His widow sold the building to the predecessor of the Credit & Effectenbank. After 70 years at the Kromme Nieuwegracht, the bank decided to sell the two houses to Cortona Developments in 1992. Since 1993 a private landlord rents the property out to the Verwey-Jonker Institute.
Of course, the houses do no look the same as they did in the 17th century. Only by looking at the specific façade endings at the front and rear side of building number 6, one can see the property dates back to this period.
In the 18th century, fashionable and comfortable living had become gradually more important for the elite. A prominent façade was also considered important. Old-fashioned 17th century gables were replaced by façades and the entrance was emphasized. The houses were decorated in typical baroque style, although the rooms in house number 6 have elements of rococo, possibly because the Strik van Linschoten-sisters preferred this style.
In the 19th century, some small changes were made to house number 6. For example, sash windows were added to the façade. Number 4 was dramatically renovated in the 18th century. A lot of the original building materials disappeared during these renovations.
In 1928, the property became a listed building. Ten years later, number 4 and number 6 were connected and the front door of number 4 was removed as it had become obsolete. However, it was later restored in order to create a handicapped entrance.
Source: ‘Kromme Nieuwegracht 4 en 6. Het verhaal van de plek, de panden en de bewoners.’, Uitgegeven ter gelegenheid van de opening van het Verwey-Jonker Instituut, Santen, van B. (red.), Utrecht, 1993.