THE ABANDONED FACTORY IN BELGIUM
‘Steenbakkerijen Frateur’ was a brick factory in Noeveren, Belgium. Today the protected site is a nice museum.
The biggest brick factory in the Noeveren area was Steenbakkerijen Frateur. Already in 1346 bricks were made here. Over the years other factories started in the same district. Around 1840 there are even 3 brickyards in Noeveren. These brick factories were bought by Paul Frateur in 1923 and 1947. Steenbakkerijen Frateur was one of the flourishing companies in the region. Noeveren near the Rupel river became a classic worker district. The brick industry dominated the banks of this river. Around the 1900’s a unique landscape arose, with more than 150 active factories near the Rupel and a slogan “the biggest in the world” it has the top production of the world.
Since 1986 the site is protected industry, Paul Frateur was fighting for protection since 1973. Ironic fact is that the protection was granted on the day Paul Frateur died.
Ever since that day the site went to bad period. The place became abandoned, buildings collapsed and the huge drying sheds were destroyed by trees and the weather. Finally in 1997 a start was made for restoration. The EMABB association starts tot rebuilt the 1912 oven building. But the works stopped, again the site got worse. Finally in 2006 they started repairing the drying sheds and the 1950 engine room. The site is now part of the brick industry museum of Boom. I visited ‘Steenbakkerijen Frateur’ in 2007.