The Beurs van Zocher

1845

The Beurs van Zocher

For well over two centuries, the Beurs van Hendrick de Keyser was the center of trade in Amsterdam, until the building was closed due to dilapidation in 1835. Its demolition followed two years later. The dilapidation of the exchange almost served as a symbol for the unpromising situation the Dutch economy was in at the time. It was even questioned whether Amsterdam needed a new exchange building at all. Partly for that reason, traders had to rough it with a temporary exchange on the Dam Square for ten years. On September 10th, 1845, however, a new exchange building, designed by architect Zocher, was opened after all.

The second Koopmansbeurs (Merchants Exchange) of Amsterdam, with the appearance of a Greek temple, was located on the Dam Square, on a spot now occupied by the Bijenkorf, and was slightly larger than its predecessor. Again, there was an open floor, surrounded by galleries that were supported by thirty numbered columns. And here, as before, securities trading took place amid commodity trading. From the outset, the new building was the subject of criticism. Traders complained about the draft, the west wind howled around the columns, and there was not enough space. In 1848, the floor was covered, but there was still a lack of space.

With the growth of securities trading in the second half of the 19th century, the period of the Second Golden Age, the self-confidence of the stockbrokers increased. They wanted their own trading floor, but the municipal authorities of Amsterdam were against it. This private floor would impair the public nature of trade. As early as 1867, a possible replacement of the Beurs van Zocher was being discussed. Thirty years of debate followed, during which the stockbrokers founded the Vereniging voor de Effectenhandel (Amsterdam Stock Exchange Association) in order to strengthen their position. Ultimately, in 1903, the Beurs van Zocher was demolished, and trade continued in the Beurs van Berlage. Here, securities trading was to have its own trading floor for the very first time.