The impressive Town Mansion was built in 1912 by order of the son of a German entrepreneur who had been based in Antwerp since the mid-19th century and was one of the founders of what would later become the transatlantic shipping company Red Star Line. He inhabited the mansion, with his wife and two sons, until his death in 1937. The eclectic-style mansion with the neo-Louis XVI slant belongs to the later oeuvre of the architect, who built a large number of distinguished townhouses in eclectic and neo-Flemish Renaissance style in Antwerp during the first decades of his career, but later focused on industrial architecture. After the death of the original occupant, the property was sold to a large family, akin to a major inland shipping company. Numerous adjustments and embellishments to the house date from his period, such as the figurative stained glass windows, the paneling and the gold leather in the rear salon and in the large salon the room-wide figurative frieze with classical themes and scenes referring to his trading activities in shipping. After the death of the owner of the house in 1961, his widow continued to live in the mansion until 1963, after which it became the property of the Belgian State. The valuable furniture of this building, which is often inextricably linked to the wall-fixed decoration (tapestries, incorporated into the paneling, paintings on the mantelpieces, and so on), is the property of the provincial administration and has been kept in storage for many years. The intention was to house the official residence of the governor there, but in view of the major renovation costs that the re-use would entail, this never happened. The building has been vacant since the early 1990s, resulting in several squatters. In the spring of 2018 the property was sold to a private owner who wishes to remain anonymous.
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