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New, modern gable stone

It takes a lot to get a new gable stone installed in your old, monumental house. The process of obtaining permits (for the external appearance of buildings, listed buildings and structures) is long, arduous and rather costly. Tom Hillegers knows all about it. But he persevered and now his house, Batterijstraat 32, has a new beautiful gable stone. The image, the caption IN THE CALCULATOR and the year 2010 (MMX) make it immediately clear that this is a modern stone, which (fortunately) is not executed in some kind of retro style, although the old-fashioned spelling of DEN on such a modern stone is a bit out of place. The design is by the Maastricht artists Pieter and Nada Sonnemans, while the execution in Pierre de Namur stone was in the expert hands of sculptor and stonemason Joop Utens in Echt. The calculator refers to the (former) profession of Tom Hillegers. He was a mathematician at DSM and thought a reminder of this on his retirement was appropriate. The attached numbers and symbols can all be found on the keyboard of a calculator and also 'hide' the house number (32) and the year 1649.

To its right in the gable is a diamond-shaped marlstone with an eye (God sees you). The year 1649 is probably the original year of construction of the building, which had to make way for new building some century later. Fewer than a dozen old Maastricht gable stones date from before the second half of the 17th century. It is unique in that it was hewn in the year following the coming into force of the Treaty of Munster.

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