Yet another beautiful building by C.J.J. (Carel Jacobus Johannes) Tenenti is this one at Kuipershaven 40, Dordrecht. It was originally built in 1903 as a vicarage to the Church at Wijnstraat 117. Since 1974 though, the building has been used as a drugs & alcohol rehabilitation center. It is therefore not a building that you get to see from the inside very easily. However, during the Open Monument Days event, the doors were open for visitors and I gladly took my camera along! My booklet said that a visit would be justified by the beautiful architectural details inside that have remained untouched. And were they right!
Due to the current function of the building I was not able to have a look in every room, but the areas that were open for visitors were already worth a visit. Below pictures are to give you an impression of the beautiful details of this building.
I have rarely seen Art Nouveau buildings with such delicate decorations in Dordrecht, and my esteem for the architect is growing by the minute. So, who was this architect? Why are his objects so much more detailed than the other Art Nouveau objects in this area? Searching the internet for more information about Carel Tenenti did not tell me much other than that he was born in Dordrecht 18 July 1866, got married to Maria Adriana Keuss on the 24th of October 1900 and passed away much too young at age 61 on 12 December 1927 in The Hague. Mr. Tenenti and his wife had moved to The Hague in 1916 after the birth of their stillborn son…
And it just hit me that he must have been already 34 years old when he got married, and 50 when his wife got pregnant, while the average life expectancy in those days was around 38~40! Just imagine the tragedy when his wife finally got pregnant after 16 years of marriage, and then gave birth to a stillborn! They moved to The Hague, from their home at Steegoversloot 75, as life in Dordrecht must have become unbearable for them.
To emphasize how beautiful the details really are, I enhanced below pictures a tiny bit. Hope you like the result?!?
Was it because of his Italian descent or his tragic life that his designs were so much more delicate than the designs of other Art Nouveau architects in town? Who can tell. Fact remains that he made some very beautiful buildings which we should cherish, enjoy and preserve for future generations!