The Solvay Library Right next door to Etterbeek In the 19th century, Brussels had both a zoo and a botanic garden. In 1880 the city turned them into the Leopold Park. With the support of the mayor Charles Buls, the industrialist Ernest Solvay and his friend and doctor Paul HĂŠger developed the idea of a Scientific City and between 1892 and 1904. Five university institutes were set up in the Leopold Park. The Institute of Sociology or Solvay Library (1901-1902) was preceded by two Institutes of Physiology (1892-1894), the Institute of Hygiene (18931894) and the Institute of Anatomy (1893-1899). Then came the School of Commerce or Solvay Institute (19031904). And the province of Brabant added the Pasteur Institute to the whole (1903-1904).
When large-scale urban development forced the Free University of Brussels out of the centre of the city, it was planned to place it entirely in the Park. But after the First World War, the scientific community opted for a site in Solbosch. This decision meant the end of the institutes in the Leopold Park. The Solvay Library is now used for events. The Institute of Hygiene was replaced by the Georges Eastman Dental Institute (1933-1935), which became the House of European History (2017), and the other institutes were taken over by the Emile Jacqmain High School.