History

When Victor and Maria Libert-Lefebvre became the owners of the building situated at the corner of Marie-Joséplein / Leopold II-laan in 1926 - already known as Hotel du Parc at that time - they could not suspect  that they would become the founders of a unique monument. 

In the early 1930s the enthusiastic owners took the decision to transform and thoroughly renovate the building.

They asked the architect Joseph Van der Banck, who was a friend of the family, for his assistance, and together with the Ostend construction company Versluys and the furniture and decoration company of the De Coene brothers, ‘De Kortrijkse Kunstwerkstede', they had the building undergo a true metamorphosis.

The hotel's facade was given an austere art deco look whereas the face-lift of the exterior and the interior of the brasserie can best be described as a "Gesamtkunstwerk" .  The stained-glass windows, the lighting, the furniture, the tile floors, the mirrors, the ceiling reliefs,... If you take a close look you will notice that all materials used, every motif and every detail refers to the art deco style.  Did you know that the black opaque glass on the facade, called marbrite, is an invention of the Belgian Arthur Brancart (1870-1934), who produced it as from the 1920s in the then world-famous ‘Verreries de Fauquez' ?

The interwar period was a period of prosperity for the fashionable resort.  However, the start of World War II put an abrupt end to that.  Hotel du Parc was one of the three hotels in Ostend that were commandeered by the German occupying forces and turned into a Kommandantur.  The war years are a dark page in the history of the imposing building.  Still, there is some romance in our story : during an air-raid alarm, the Libert family took shelter in the basement of the hotel, and daughter Fernande met her future husband, doctor Pierre Vincke.  They married in 1946.

After the war, tourism in the seaside resort gradually picked up again.  But fate intervened in 1950, when Victor Libert died unexpectedly.  Soon afterwards, his widow, Maria Libert-Lefebvre, and their son Henri decided to leave the busy life and demanding work behind.  The Blontrock family took over Hotel-Brasserie du Parc and managed it for more than 30 years.

In 1983 Pierre and Fernande Vincke-Libert seized the opportunity to turn ‘du Parc' into a family business once again.  The management of the hotel-brasserie was entrusted to three of their seven children: Pierre, Michèle and Christine.

At that time the complex was in urgent need of a thorough renovation/restoration.

The hotel rooms were completely renovated in order to meet the requirements of modern comfort and fire protection.

The valuable interior of the brasserie also needed a face-lift.  As the original equipment had long been removed and a characterless counter marred the interior, a new buffet was made by the company Ytor from Middelkerke on the basis of a design by Jean Janssen in 1990.

Thanks to the class and elegance of the renovation works, the many admirers as well as the authorities became aware of the fact that this splendid, unique art deco monument had to be rescued from demolition.  Protection became a fact when Hotel-Brasserie du Parc became a listed building by Ministerial Decree of 27/01/2000 on account of its historical, artistic and socio-cultural value. (cv)

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