Download Image of Wolfstraat 7 in Gent in Oost Vlanderen

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Gent : Wolfstraat 7 [2008]

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A photograph of Wolfstraat 7 in the district around Sint-Jacobskerk, a locale somewhat gentrified by the middle classes during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This pattern is exemplified in Wolfstraat, a narrow thoroughfare containing a delightful and eclectic assortment of town houses built for Gent's bourgeoisie. The majority of these properties were designed by the Gent-born architect and builder Jacob Gustaaf Semey. Combining his artistic flair with acute business acumen, he teamed up with land speculators and mortgage companies to build more than three hundred houses in the city between the late-1880s up until the First World War. It would appear that Semey wished to leave a legacy of his ideology by incorporating slogans within the fabric of his later designs. The properties in Wolfstraat were built in the early years of the 20th century and, here on the inner corner of a L-shaped street, this building, erected in 1904, features the slogans: "Put water in barrels for a hundred years, it will never be a wine, " and "No injustice will ever be right, no matter how old or the date is true." A very similar building a few yards away on the corner of Penitentenstraat, also built in 1904, bears the motto: "There is only one happiness : duty, one consolation : labour, one pleasure : beauty." which, combined, perhaps encapsulates the work ethic of Jacob Gustaaf Semey.


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