The stone giant left alone

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A void in the center with the void in the center. Every now and then a project pops up, an idea to give new life to the building complex that stands out in the heart of Rovigo, between Corso del Popolo, piazza Umberto and via Angeli. But for now, the former civil engineering continues to be a gigantic urban void. Deterioration has attacked the most hidden parts of the building for some time, while some sectors of the building have regained functionality, giving space to the offices of some institution or association. But the bulk of the building is still there, like a sleeping giant. Just over a year ago, the Veneto Region, owner of the property, had carried out a survey to explore the possibility of a redevelopment and reuse of the area, but as far as we know the project is still in the study phase.

The former civil engineering has been included in the Region’s alienation plan for years. But after several attempts to put it up for auction, which always went unanswered, the orientation then was to seek a way for a functional recovery, and thus free it from the neglect of recent years.

The former Civil Engineers has been abandoned since 1985, a stone giant often at the center of dreams of reuse and recovery. A few years ago there was also talk of the interest of a private individual for the construction of a small shopping centre, with shops and commercial activities inside the building, but the deal never went beyond a pourparler.

The large building measures 2,856 square meters on several floors, and which surround a small internal courtyard, for a total area of ​​land of 858 square meters. On various occasions, pieces of plaster and rubble detached from the large building, which made the recovery of the building even more urgent and which a few months ago required the opening of a construction site to fix the windows and doors on the side facing Piazza Umberto.

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The palace is the result of a series of interventions on the original which have modified its extension and external appearance. In 1844, in fact, the building where, during the Republic of Venice, saltpetre for gunpowder was obtained was demolished right here. Between 1932 and 1935 the first transformation: a two-storey building with a corner tower and an internal courtyard that developed on three sides between corso Littorio and via Umberto I. The idea was to make the building a symbol of the regime , on the new course that has just been created. In 1940, then, a first expansion, with the construction of the hydraulic warehouse towards the courtyard, which therefore led to the closure on the fourth side.

In 1958 another intervention significantly modified the original appearance with the construction of the third floor and the further elevation of the tower. In 1972 the building, having become insufficient, was further expanded. Following the reorganization of the powers attributed to the Regions and the division into separate offices, after an initial sharing of spaces, the historic part was definitively abandoned in the summer of 1985. And since then it has been a huge urban void in the center.

The article is in Italian

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