In 1898, the municipal authorities had plans to create a prestigious avenue linking the square in front of the Church of Saint Servatius to Josaphat Park. The construction of the new avenue necessitated the destruction of the village centre and old church, whose handsome vicarage building, set back from the current street alignment, is the only surviving remnant today. The avenue is an imposing sight, with its tree- and flower-filled central medians and wide footpaths bordered by beautiful homes. Like the Avenue Louise/Louizalaan, it had ambitions of becoming an elegant promenade along which the new wealthy residents of the neighbourhood would enjoy strolling. Various architectural competitions were organised over the years, such as the competition to design the two almost identical buildings at the start of the avenue. The work on these was completed towards 1905 and from then on the houses were constructed one after the other. This gives the area a pleasant sense of architectural unity, even though it varies extensively in terms of style. On the corner where the avenue meets the Rue Josaphat/Josaphatstraat there are two impressive apartment buildings by the Art Nouveau architect Gustave Strauven, one of which still retains its beautiful canopy. Across the way, on the corner of the Rue Henri Bergé/Henri Bergéstraat and the Rue Joseph Brandt/Joseph Brandstraat, the architect D. Fastré built the most striking building on the avenue; Eclectic in style, its two turrets are crowned by copper domes and it has a small front garden. From this point, the avenue flares out in a fan shape towards the park. The last building to be constructed was the Beaux-Arts style sports stadium. From 1911 it was a venue for large and varied audiences, drawn there by cycling races, circus performances, political rallies, boxing and wrestling matches, as well as concerts by the likes of Johnny Hallyday and the Rolling Stones. Demolished in 1966, it was replaced by a tower block, a creation by the architect Jacques Cuisinier, who also designed the former Martini tower in central Brussels. The avenue was named after a Belgian writer and politician who resided in Schaerbeek/Schaarbeek.