During 19th century the environment and the function of the Haarlemmerplein changed forever. From 1830 the fortress lost its military function and on some spots they started with the excavation of the ramparts. Haarlemmerplein was one of the first places where around 1830 the earthen wall was removed. The excavated material was added to the square, so the square deformed. Some years later, in 1838, the old Haarlemmerpoort with the corresponding bridge was demolished because of its dilapidated state and replaced by a new gate with a new bridge over the canal. This gate, designed by Cornelis Alewijn was primarily an excise house. As from 1874 urban expansion outside the walls was allowed,former bastions acted in the middle of the 19th century as the location for the first factories. The large neoclassical building, was clearly intended as a new representative access to the city. In honor of the inauguration of William II, the name was changed from Haarlemmerpoort in Willemspoort.
The Gate, a national monument,always had a flexible and multiple use, in addition to the important symbolic function and meaning. After vacancy in the 70’s the gate was squatted and its emphasis came on the purchase of Grondbedrijf and the plans of Hubers and Boer in a special type of housing. The tram, direction Droogbak, the construction of the Haarlemmer Houttuinen and a very long-lasting (20 years old) approach of the Haarlemmerplein Marnixstraat resulted in a further isolation of the gate in its urban significance. The real operation mode has been subordinated in terms of effectiveness, due to a small footprint, limited accessibility and isolation resulting in the urban area. Yet knows the Gate since the 80s many users especially for habitation. The need for maintenance of the gate, the new design of the Haarlemmerplein and ideas to make the gate an icon of the Haarlemmerbuurt are so to say obvious
The owner, the housing corporation Ymere, restarted in October 2011 in a constructive way with the Haarlemmerpoort project, by addressing the ‘research task’ in a broad plan teamwork. Parties involved in addition to various parts of Ymere are; residents, District Assembly and Organ Wijksteunpunt Housing, Monuments Care and district representatives of various services (Housing, Area). In these meetings they examined how the gate could come back to its full right and at the level of the owner is also looking for the combination of living and working with a reasonable financial exploitation. The underlying idea is to exploit the area of the Gate to the water
The residents of the Gate asked Andre Stigt as a consultant in the process. His expertise in this type of building in collaboration with residents and corporation Ymere led to do a feasibility study, which was completed in 2012. A grant contribution of Monument care has facilitated this study. To make the Gate profitable several variants are proposed, from which finally the combination of high-quality renovation with a combination of live and work emerged.
Corporation Ymere and Office van Stigt now work together to the elaboration of the plans and the environmental permit and building permit are applied for the new plan of the Gate.
Nevertheless Ymere, despite the headwinds that corporations are now experiencing, decided to give a chance to the Gate, the building belongs to the portfolio of the corporation and is too good not to tackle.