Groenlo town hall is partly a museum


Extension of the National Museum of the Four Years’ War

By Kyra Broshuis

GROENLO – It took some time, but the town hall in Groenlo is partially getting a new purpose. Hjerte for Grolle fortress, a foundation set up by a few residents of Grolle, has submitted a request to rent part of the town hall. That part is to be used as an extension of the National Museum of the Years’ War.

The main part of this museum will be housed in the Oude Calixtus church opposite. Heart for the fortress Grolle wants to promote the quality of life and the living environment in Groenlo in social, historical and cultural areas and put the fortified city on the map. It is intended that that part of the town hall will initially be leased to Hart for the fortress Grolle for a period of 5 years.

Councilor Bart Porskamp says: “Parts of the new museum will be housed in the town hall. You can think about ticket sales and a shop, office space for the director and employees and exhibition space. By accommodating supporting functions, more space is left in the Oude Calixtus. With the lease, we are taking a nice step towards further establishing Groenlo as a fortified city. The town hall is a historic building and forms a beautiful combination with its future use. This will give us an attractive recreational function in the heart of Groenlo.” The shared function of the museum creates a direct user connection between the Oude Calixtus and the town hall. The town hall thus once again has a public function on the Markt. The plans take into account the existing functions of the town hall. The town hall remains unchanged However, some premises will need to be adapted so that they can accommodate group rooms properly.

The town hall will be preserved
Stefan Kok from Hart for Vesting Grolle is pleased with the agreement. “It is very nice that the town hall for Groenlo can be preserved as a public and publicly accessible building. Together with the National Museum of the 1980s War and the municipality, we have drawn up a regulation plan, where the council hall and the recently renovated tourist office can continue to function, and little needs to be changed in these functions.”

Opposite the Oude Calixtus Church, in the building section next to the monumental staircase on the Mattelierstraat, the entrance to the National Museum 80 Years War will be built on the ground floor. Here will be the ticket counter, where the entrance tickets can be bought, as well as the museum shop and the museum café. Visitors to the museum can then reach the second floor via the stairwell behind.
In the monumental part of the town hall, with a beautiful view of the Markt in Groenlo, two rooms will be set up for temporary exhibitions and displays. On the first floor, there is space for the museum director’s office and meeting room. Facilities such as lift and toilets will be shared with the existing users who are already in the building. “The development plan will now be drawn up in more detail, with the municipality also taking into account the sustainability of the construction,” says Kok.

The part remains (still) unused
By renting out Hart to the fortress Grolle, part of the building is unused, Porskamp confirms. “There is an initiative on the way for this part, but it is not yet clear to what extent the initiators will actually be able to rent the space. Leasing part of the town hall to Hart til Grolle fortress does not, however, make it impossible to lease this vacant part to another party. In fact, the selected parts that the foundation wants to lease certainly make joint use of others, and the existing functions can also continue to exist.”

The monumental town hall is largely empty because Social Services Oost Achterhoek and Werkbaan Oost have merged on 1 January 2022. Together they form the new organization Fijnder, which has moved into a building on Laarberg. The town hall in Groenlo has lost a major user. The building is still in use by the tourist office on the ground floor. The council hall and some function rooms are also in use. The town hall also serves as a venue for weddings.

The new museum is planned to open its doors in mid-2024. The museum wants to tell the entire Dutch story around the 80-year war. The goal is 20,000 paying visitors annually.

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