The Chambre De Commerce stock market of Antwerp opened in 1531. At the end of the fifteenth century nearby Bruges was an important international trading hub, and Antwerp took the role as a trading centre of Bruges.
The first building, in late-Gothic style followed a design by Domien de Waghemakere, and comprised a rectangular open space, enclosed by a covered colonnade. This design greatly inspired Sir Thomas Gresham when he founded the London Stock Exchange in 1565, and was echoed by later Stock Exchanges in Rotterdam (1595) and Amsterdam (1611). It is claimed that when it first opened “every nation” had a more or less permanent place in the CDC.
After a fire in 1583 it was rebuilt to the original plans, and the open interior space was enclosed in 1853 with a roof designed by Charles Marcellis and modelled on London’s Crystal Palace.
After a second fire again destroyed the building in 1858, Antwerp City Council held a design competition, in which the old concept had to be preserved. The current building was designed by architect Joseph Schadde and was completed in 1872. It is described as being a curious combination of neo-Gothic style and revolutionary techniques, especially the metal construction for the interior.
The Antwerp Stock Market closed in 1997, when its functions were taken over by the Brussels Stock Exchange. The building has remained empty and neglected ever since. Long-standing plans to convert the CDC and a neighbouring building into a “semi-public function space”, restaurant, and 5-star Marriott hotel have stalled due to funding problems.