The Schoenenkwartier is part of the Kropholler complex, the eye-catcher in the center of Waalwijk.
For centuries, Waalwijk has been the center of the North Brabant region known as the Langstraat. A region that consists of a succession of villages along the dike, which formed the through road between Geertruidenberg and 's-Hertogenbosch. For centuries it was mainly inhabited by farmers, tanners and shoemakers. With the arrival of the large steam factories at the end of the 19th century, the rustic villages changed into industrial areas where independent tanners and shoemakers increasingly became factory workers.
In the 1960s and 1970s, the countless factories in the Langstraat had a hard time due to strict environmental requirements and competition from countries where labor was much cheaper. Around 1980 there was hardly anything left of the once so glorious industry. Traces of the industrial past can however be found everywhere in the Langstraat, especially in the architecture, but also in the names of streets and buildings. Think of theater the Leest and shopping center the Els. The Halvezolenpad is a remnant of the Geertruidenberg-'s-Hertogenbosch railroad line that factory workers used to travel to work. The Schoenenkwartier itself is part of the Kropholler complex, the town hall ensemble built by architect Alexander Kropholler in the 1930s that is the eye-catcher of the center of Waalwijk.