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Photographer's Note

Same location and same story as in yesterday's post, but a rather different picture.

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The Antwerp Tower is the city's third highest building, coming behind the cathedral and the bank tower, the Boerentoren.

In the 19th century on this prime piece of land, right next to the Opera, there was a magnificent dancehall. This was tore down to build a Grand Hotel, but that didn't work out. In the 1960's a company cynically called NV Groenzone (Greenzone) sold it for the construction of the Antwerp Tower.

From the beginning, this skyscraper was highly contested, as it rises high above our dear old Opera House and frankly most people just thought it was ugly.

The Antwerp Tower was mainly used for offices, both by proper companies (e.g. the people compiling telephone books) and during the 1990's also by shady 'businessmen' from Russia or Israel.

In short, it never really worked. The Antwerp Tower has graced a handful of list of Europe's ugliest buidlings. Today the building is owned by a Dutch company and there are plans for redevelopment.

Awaiting those, this summer a group of young enthusiasts organized the A-Tower project. During the exam period students could rent spaces to "study with a view", there was a panorama room, a trendy coffe bar (with outdoor seating) and one of the top floors held Antwerp's coolest place to party.

So suddenly and quite unexpectedly the old unloved tower became one of the hippest places in town. Quite an afterglow for this old monster! Now what is next?

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This picture shows the typically orange glow of the glass windows in its full glory, with the reflection of the sun caught in one of the rare trees in this part of the city.

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song title reference: Cream

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Additional Photos by Benny Verbercht (BennyV) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2914 W: 35 N: 6310] (32994)
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