Autour de Marguerite

Autour de Marguerite

The shops

Once the first buildings went up, the commercial interest of the square Marguerite became obvious. Shops could be found primarily at the top of the square starting from rues Van Campenhout and Le Corrège.

Coll. J.-M. Schrynemaeker

You could find almost every kind of shop in Square Marguerite: a pharmacy, a cheese shop, a pâtisserie, a tailor and high-end fashion shop, a haberdashery, a hat shop, a lingerie shop, cold meats, a butcher’s, a fishmonger, a shop that sold colonial items, spices, a delicatessen… The locals could get their supplies of wine, beer and spirits, tobacco, newspapers and stationery, seeds, plants, household utensils and fittings for plumbing, radios, chandeliers, even stained glass windows. There was a maker of hairpieces and several hairdressers, a jeweller and watch-maker, and last but not least, a sweets shop, at the top of the list of memories of most children. And what couldn’t be found on the square, was available on one of the streets leading to the square.

Circa 1913. Coll. Christian Dekeyser.

In 1901, to make the shopping experience better for the residents, the City installed pavements which criss-crossed the often muddy square. In 1905, gravel will be poured onto the mud, after the residents demanded ‘the drying up of the polder that is Square Marguerite’.

A free local newspaper Le Nord-Est (later La Gazette du Nord-Est) advertised for the local shops from 1899 until 1929.

© Archives of the City of Brussels, J182

Many years later, in about 1977, driven by some Jeunes en Route (Rover Scouts), the newspaper was reborn as Infor-Quartier. It still exists as main vehicle for GAQ (Groupe d’Animation du Quartier [européen]).

Coll. François Raison.