The Amstel Hotel, built in 1867, was the first luxury hotel in Amsterdam. The initiator was the doctor and politician Samuel Sarphati (1813-1866), who had a major urban development plan designed for this part of the city. Cornelis Outshoorn (1812-1875), who also designed the Paleis voor Volksvlijt (Palace for public diligence), was the architect of the hotel. The hotel attracted and still attracts many foreign guests, including many diamond merchants at that time.
Prof. Tulpstraat 2-12. The Amstel Hotel annex was located at #2 on the right. Photo: Jan van Dijk.
The merchants received their business relations in the rooms or in the lobby, which was inconvenient for the other guests. And so the stables and the coach house across the street from the hotel, at Tulpstraat 2 (street), were rebuilt into an annex especially for the diamond trading sector. Two floors were added in 1884 and 1887. The ground floor accommodated offices where business relations could be received.
The Amstel Hotel. Photo: City Archive Amsterdam.
The Diamond Exchange was set up on the Weesperplein (square) in 1911. Well-off diamond dealers took up residence in the nearby Tulpstraat (Prof. was added to the name in 1946). Architect Harry Elte (1880-1944) lived at numbers 11 as from 1917. He was commissioned by diamond dealer M. Saks in 1920 to improve the interior of the combined premises at number 4-6. It accommodated the office of the Algemene Juweliers Vereniging (General Jewellers’ Association), among other things.
Some of the buildings in the Prof. Tulpstraat acquired the monument status in 2001 due to their special history. The street has been restored to how it was in the past. The safes of the diamond merchants are still present in various houses. The former annex of the Amstel Hotel has been restored and now serves as a luxury apartment complex.