Het Nederlands Monumenten Bezit

Every building has a story, a soul. That is why Cobraspen chooses for real estate with monumental value. In order to secure the survival of these historic buildings, Luigi Prins established Het Nederlands Monumenten Bezit, in short NMB. The NMB is responsible for the preservation and management of their unique estates so that these stories can reach the new generations.


Preservation and management of unique estates


Monumental estates with a history


Amsterdam, Haarlem, Overveen.



Eventful history

The original construction of the manor at the estate Elswout started in 1882. After the realization of the façades and terraces, the client Willem Borski jr. passed away. After his passing in 1884, the estate has had an eventful history. After served as a municipal yard and workplace in the early 1900s, it was taken into use by German occupiers during the Second World War. In the decennia that followed, the manor functioned as lyceum before it came in the hands of the State Forestry in 1970. In the early 1990s, State Forestry asked to submit ideas for a new destination for the manor on Elswout. Luigi Prins, founder of Cobraspen Group and Het Nederlands Monumenten Bezit, was chosen after nine years out of 300 submissions, because of his plans to finish the original construction. This construction started in 2000 after the construction drawings, which were found in the archives of the descendants of the Borski-family.


A reminder

These town houses were designed in 1880 by the well-known Haarlem architect A. van der Steur Jr. The building was designed for the wealthy of the time. A bel-etage and various smaller, simple rooms in the basement and the upper floors (for the staff) are a reminder of this period.

One of these residents at the Dreef were the Pélerin couple. Mrs Pélerin originated from Paris and had married the public prosecutor of Haarlem. His appointment in 1900 can still be found in the Haarlems Dagblad newspaper.


Mekka of Culture

Villa Alsberg, which is named after Siegmund Alsberg, the founder of the bank and securities business Alsberg, Goldberg & Co., was designed by architect Eduard Cuypers in 1904. Cobraspen Real Estate bought the villa in 2007 on the intercession of monument conservation. During the restoration, Cuypers’ original blueprints were used as guidelines as well as photo material from the Amsterdam City Archives. For the restauration of Villa Alsberg around 300 stained glass windows have been restored and reproduced based on the original photo materials. Original murals have been brought back by hand with pencils and stencils.

Luigi Prins, founder of Cobraspen Real Estate and the NMB: “We have restored the building to its original state with great dedication. Due to its surroundings, we found that a museum (MOCO) was more in place that an office. Villa Alsberg is located in an environment which is known as the Mekka of Culture. This way, the estate comes out beautifully.”


A beautiful tale

The Municipal School for Boys was built in 1882 by city architect Jacques Leijh. The striking building is designed to be a neo-classical style. One of the eye-catchers is the triangular top piece (tympanum) of the demolished Kennemer Gate, which was placed in the façade in 1884.

The Jewish Lyceum was located here from 1941 to 1943 during the German occupation. An inspiring story is that of former teachers Dolf Cohen and Henriette Koster. They met while teaching but had to go into hiding, far away from each other. After the liberation, they happily found each other again and got married!


Nice detail

The city centre is full of beautiful, landmark buildings. This double mansion dates back to 1870 and was built in neo-renaissance style, a popular architectural style in the second half of the 19th century.

This photo, from 1906, shows the building on the left (with the white lamp). A nice detail is the tram track; back then a tram rode right through Haarlem!


A challange

Kennemerplein was created in 1677 as the square by Kennemer. This gate was designed by Jacques Leijh, Haarlem’s city architect. Between 1860 and 1870, the gate was demolished and replaced by the city park ‘De Bolwerken’, designed by J.D. Zocher, which is located opposite the building. The city park ‘De Bolwerken’ was built on the former fortifications on this side of the city.

The building itself was hit by a severe fire in 1994. So fierce, that many thought the listed building was beyond saving. Cobraspen took up the challenge and completely restored the building. Over three years of restoration the building was transformed into a beautiful office villa


For the wealthy

Kenaupark, a citypark surrounded by thirteen villa’s and nine town houses, was realized between 1866 and 1868 as part of city park ‘Het Bolwerk’. Architect G.W. Breuker designed the houses while architect J.D. Zocher designed the park, garden and plantation. Breuker’s villas and town houses were built for wealthy Haarlem families like nobles and important mayors. Currently, Kenaupark 21 is registered in the monumental register of Haarlem.


From creation to art object

It is not without reason that Nieuwe Gracht 74 has been registered to Het Nederlandse Monumenten Bezit. This estate used to be home to a very special room, better known as the Kopskamer. This original room was designed around 1790 by Abraham van der Hart for the highly rich yarn merchant Willem Philip Kops. Until 1906 the reception room stays in its original spot in Haarlem as property of his daughter’s direct descendants. But in 1906 the room is sold to mr. Van den Broek d’Obrenan during an auction in Amsterdam. The interior pieces and paneling are then brought to his home in The Hague where the pieces are placed in another setup. Shortly after the Second World War, the Rijksmuseum buys the Kopskamer and sets it up in the museum around 1962. Here, the room is displayed in its original setup. For this setup, photos from the auction catalogues of 1906 and captions on the pieces were leading.

From its creation to its placement in the Rijksmuseum, the room has been cherished as an art object.


Interesting features

In 1889, Florapark 4 was built as a detached villa commissioned by Pieter Quares van Ufford.  Designed by F.G. Haitsma Mulier, this villa was built in neo-renaissance style.

The Florapark itself was designed by L.P. Zocher in 1873, as part of the plan for the construction and development the Hazepatersveld. This meadow was transformed into a villa park. In the period from 1880-1892, eleven villas were built in Florapark, of which eight were detached and three were double. With the exception of one villa, all are still present, most of which largely are in their original state. This makes that Florapark is still seen as a villapark.

When Florapark 4 became in the possession of Cobraspen, it was in a bad condition. This is why the villa has been fully renovated. During this renovation some interesting features have been discovered. Two upside-down cannons have been found in the garden. These lay with their barrels downward as a crash barrier. These cannons were most likely part of the old town gate until its demolition. Once refurbished and restored, they now beautifully hold place at the villa.



Kennemerplein 2 has an extraordinary history. Originally, the Kennermerpoort, better known as De Nieuwpoort, stood at this location in 1677. Unfortunately, the town gate was demolished in 1870 to make room for the new town park, designed by the architect J.D. Zocher. This marked the start of Villa Welgelegen.

Together with its authentic wooden porch, Villa Welgelegen is one of the last villas in this area. Most villas which stood here, had to make room for the extension of the railways in 1908.

Next to Villa Welgelegen, stood a small, dilapidated building which was therefore demolished. However, a new extension has been built in its place in the same style as Kennemerplein 2. The stained-glass-windows from the veranda were disassembled and have been in a storage for 25 years. Currently, these stained-glass-windows have been incorporated in the interior of Landhuis Elswout, Overveen.


La dolce vita

The former girls’ school is designed by architect Jacques Leijh and is a protected cityscape. The natural stone facade, with impressive risalto, features Tuscan semicolumns and pediment. And therein lies the origin of the name of the new hotel. Hotel Palazzo, Italian for palace, brings ‘la dolce vita’ to Haarlem. Enjoy life and all the beauty this historic Spaarnestad has to offer.

From origin, Prinshendrikhof functioned as a girls’ school, which to this day can still be found in subtle, historic details. Years later, this characteristic building served as an office. Its next destinations in one of Italian grandeur and expressionism. Travelers can enjoy a paradise like feeling at the new Hotel Palazzo.


Reconstruction to fusion

Formerly, the ABN Bank and the Ambro Bank were both located at the Zijlstraat, apart from each other. Shortly after the reconstruction of ABN Bank, a fusion was made with Ambro Bank and the reconstructed building was sold. The facade was then opened, and the windows were removed, which were kept and moved to another building in Overveen.

Ever since, different shops have been inside. Currently, the building is used by Rob Peetoom, as one of his salons.


Original beauty

Wilhelminalaan 12, also known as Villa Lommerrijk, is a monumental estate, designed by J. van der Ban, originating from the early 20th century. This villa is is characterized by the neo-renaissance style, which was very popular at the time.

However, in the 1960s, the exterior of this villa was whitewashed, which made some of its original beauty disappear. Still, Villa Lommerrijk is characteristic for the Wilhelminalaan. This villa is part of a series of villas and town houses that were built around the same time near Haarlemmerhout.

When this estate become property of Cobraspen, the white paint layer has been removed from the facade by means of light radiation and re-joined. During the restoration the original colors have been brought back, together with the original ornaments and natural stone.

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