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Jakarta Post

Old Town restoration takes shape

  • The Jakarta Post

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sat, August 2, 2014   /  10:42 am

A man gazes at a technical drawing for one of the buildings in the Jakarta Old Town revitalization plan.

'€œThis is great, I really hope that someday old town turns into this,'€ said Stefanus Iwanone who spoke to The Jakarta Post at the '€œJakarta Old Town Reborn'€ exhibition at Erasmus Huis in Kuningan, South Jakarta, recently.

Erasmus Huis and Rumah Asuh have collaborated with noted architects to hold the architecture exhibition, which is showcasing seven revitalization concepts, from July 13 to Aug. 15.

Stefanus, however, said the city had far to go.

'€œThere are a lot things to take care of such as how they will get licenses from the government to apply the idea,'€ Stefanus said.

Jakarta Old Town, (commonly known as Kota Tua), is a heritage area that spans West and North Jakarta. It was established by the Dutch in 1620 and still has several colonial era buildings in the area. Over the past few years, a number of organizations have begun to run historical tours around
the area.

Noted architect Yori Antar said that in the past, various efforts had been made to rejuvenate the area, but improvements often fell short.

'€œIt is slowly becoming derelict and some of the buildings are unused or neglected,'€ Yori Antar, who is also the exhibition curator, said on Tuesday.

According to Yori, with the support of the provincial administration and the architects'€™ contributed ideas it was the right time to move the project forward.

He said that Deputy Governor Basuki '€œAhok'€ Tjahja Purnama said that he liked the idea and was ready to facilitate the license once the rejuvenation project started.

Although the architects involved in the exhibition were motivated to play their part in ensuring the future of Old Town, the idea would only be a success if the public, the administration, the building owners and the investors shared similar concerns, Yori said.

Ray Ramos, another visitor, said that Old Town should not just be a tourist attraction, but also the capital'€™s art and culture center. He added that he hoped the government and the public would work together to preserve the historic site.

Ray added that the local administration should pay more attention to maintaining historic places and raise awareness of the areas.

'€œI love Old Town, for me it is like stepping back in time,'€ he said. (idb)