Let’s start fresh, with a bang! As seen in the papers and on TV, I will cover the three extraordinary properties that are currently for sale in my histrorical part of Antwerp, in the next few weeks.
For the first one, Happaertstraat 21-23-25, I'm taking you back in time, to the year 1500 when house Happaert was built. The street Happaert was named after a noble family because it was constructed on their lands. They were a highly regarded family because of its many knights and noblemen in the family, who strongly represented Antwerp in political aspects, but also as knights fighting in several battles.
Over the years, we made the wrong assumption that this house was built by and for Jan Happaert who was in that time mayor of Antwerp. Through the years they found out that it was actually his illegitimate son Hendirk who assigned the construction of the building to the family De Coelenaere, who bought the house from him afterwards. The timing here also explains the triple streetnumber on the address, because around the time that Hendrik sold house Happaert, he also alloted the parcels his family had given him and sold them/gave them way. So at this point Happaertstraat 21, 23 and 25 were seperate buildings, later on volumized by a “pagaddertoren” in between.
Through the next centuries, both houses were a home to mayors, knights, noble families… With a special shout out to a dutch noble family “de Delft” who’s coat of arms still has its place in the house. It’s only if we fast forward tot he 20th centry, that we get sight on the reason why, and how number 23 and 25 were combined as one. The two properties were then owned by a lawyer named Van den Bossch, who’s planning on creating a living-working space. The expansion's main key words are: space and light. Which translates itself in several new glass parties, an added conservatory and a bigger glass ceiling. A lot of renovation works were done in order to turn it into a stately home/office, but they were strictly using recovered materials in order to maintain the authenticity and character of the house.
His sun inherits the building and adds another number to the complex, number 21, which he develops into apartments. The complex now remains as one when sold to a hatter and then later on to professor Couvreur who improves the complex highly in value. He orders the renovation of the stables that will later on serve as a pavilion. Couvreur decorates the house with a lot of valuable details using materials out of the demolition of the Happaertstraat 6 owned by well-known painter Erasmus Quellin.
He turned the house into the masterpiece that it is today. The current owner has renovated it to comply with today's standards, and exploited it as a succesful Bed and Breakfast. In the past years, a lot of sophisticated events were held here. But right now, this piece of Antwerp history, is looking for a new owner. And I am very deticated to find one!
So if you are looking for a new investment opportunity, home, office space, hotel… Then I can help you explore this hidden pearl in Antwerp and tell you all about its potential. There’s a price card attaced to it, but you get a lot for in in return… Read on, I’ll give you a tour:
At first glance, the façade does not reveal much, but behind these big door lies a spectacle of wooden elements, paintings, stained glass windows ... And much more! The entrance hall has a big cloakroom with sanitary rooms and an extra office space. Walking past this, you enter the heart of the house, still decorated with an original herringbone parquet and fully bathing in natural light because of the dreamy light dome that has been restored in detail.
Rich woodwork hides a warm seating area with an authentic fireplace. Furthermore, this space serves as a central reception point for the 3 remaining meeting / dining rooms, one of which still has original murals from the 17th century. Adjacent to this room you will find a service hall that opens onto the kitchen, the cellars, an extra entrance and many authentic eye-catchers to watch during a visit.
Furthermore, the ground floor offers a terrace room with a view on the inner garden. The garden with terrace is, just like the house, perfectly maintained. There is also a pavilion in the garden that you can fully furnish. From the garden you have a view of one of the few remaining pagoda towers in Antwerp.
Time to go up (slide with me on the pictures below), we pass a mezzanine and arrive on the first floor where there are already 3 bedrooms with bathroom. More to the top, and passing an intermediate floor with a TV corner, we arrive at the second floor. This serves as a master suite with 2 bedrooms, and a spacious bathroom. On the third floor there is another master suite with its own desk and extra bedroom.
And it doesn't stop there yet, a second and newer building also borders this construction and still gives space for a garage, a duplex with 2 bedrooms.
We no longer have to tell you that this is a hidden gem in the middle of the city, but that it is equipped with every modern comfort! During a visit with me, you can discover for yourself how well this house has been maintained over the years. In order to fall in love with this piece of old town Antwerp.
Hope you loves hidden gem number one! Next up is the building: the King of Spain!
See you in the next episode.