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100 East Eighth Street

When the director began his work in January of 1994, the first home of the Institute was a corner of the Retired Faculty Office in Van Zoeren Hall at Hope College. In 1996, when Dr. Swierenga was invited to become a member of the Institute, it became apparent that additional room was needed for the growing Institute. New headquarters were established in the Lumir Building at 100 East Eighth Street, on the edge of Hope's campus, in March of that year. This building has since been purchased by Hope College. With the move of the Institute headquarters from cramped space in Van Zoeren Hall to 100 East Eighth Street, sufficient office space was made available for all the members of the Institute. Thanks to another major gift from Peter H. Huizenga, the college furnished and equipped five offices, a staff room, and the reception areas in our new location. Office furniture designed and built by the Haworth Company has been used throughout the offices and in the reception areas. Modern office equipment includes computers, microfilm reading machines, and a fax machine, copier and scanner.

An additional benefit of moving into our new location has been the opportunity to acquire artworks which illuminate aspects of our research. Significant among these are an oil portrait of the Reverend Dr. Albertus C. Van Raalte in his middle years, on loan from Hope College's art collection, and a 27 inch bronze statue of Van Raalte, a copy of the maquette created for the nine-foot bronze statue recently placed in Holland's Centennial Park. (See "Dedication of the Van Raalte Statue," later in this report.)

The Reverend Gerard Van Heest, Hope College Chaplain Emeritus and a Hope graduate in the class of 1949, contributed a signed portrait of Mr. Abraham Kuyper, prime minister of the Netherlands during the reign of Queen Wilhelmina. Another benefactor of the college, John Vennema, nephew of Hope's fourth president, the Reverend Ame Vennema, contributed a large etching of Queen Wilhelmina, which was created in 1898, the year of her ascension to the throne of the Netherlands. This etching had hung in the law office of Mr. Vennema's father, who was Consul General of the Netherlands, in the Chicago office, from 1914 to 1941.

A fine etching, dated 1729, of the historic Synod of Dort which was held in 1618 and 1619, was contributed by the director, who also donated several smaller pieces. A painting by Mae Van Ark hangs in the director's office, providing an intriguing reminder of the Institute's recent history by showing the Burger King restaurant which originally was in the location where the offices at 100 East Eighth Street now stand.