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Jakarta Post

New life breathed into centuries-old Toko Merah

  • The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, July 24 2012   /  05:30 am

Heritage building: Toko Merah was built in 1730 by the Dutch. The red building is now being renovated after being left unattended for 10 years. JP/Anggi M. LubisIt is not easy for passersby to simply overlook the imposing red building on Jl. Kalibesar in the Old Town area of West Jakarta.

On its unplastered brick wall is an epigraph stating that the building, named Toko Merah or the “Red Store”, was built in 1730 by the Dutch East Indies Company’s (VOC) governor-general Gustaaff Willem Baron Van Imhoff, who also built the Bogor Palace.

Facing Ciliwung, which was once the busiest river in Jakarta, Toko Merah has stood there for almost three centuries and has now become a memento of the Dutch occupation on the archipelago.

Despite its old age, the building — at a glance — appears to be in good condition and well maintained, especially in comparison to the bui...