The twentieth century in the city

Over a century of Ponte Scaricatore, the skyscrapers in Insurrection Square and Porte Contarine

Art and culture
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"Padova changed radically in the twentieth century".

A medieval city like Padova cannot make radical changes to its structure; nonetheless, it underwent a drastic revamp in the twentieth century. The short overview aims to consider these changes briefly.

The Ponte scaricatore (hydraulic equipment) in Voltabarozzo is dated 1919 and is therefore just over one hundred years old. It was designed by Luigi Gasparini. Shortly after (1923) the famous Rotonda (Aqueduct Tower) was built; in 1929 the courthouse was rebuilt following its destruction by a fire. The scenic Palazzo Esedra in Città Giardino dates back to 1921.

Among the buildings from the 1930s, the Liviano (architect Giò Ponti, 1937), and the Concordi cinema (1936) designed by Giulio Brunetta. The same architect also designed the Biri (Brewery restaurant) in the Stanga area in the 1940s. The same period saw the construction of Palazzo Torre in Insurrection (former Spalato) square, 13 floors and a single central staircase.

The immediate post-war period witnessed new constructions: the Altino cinema designed by Quirino De Giorgio (1946) but especially the railway station, designed by Paolo Perilli. We must not forget the Cassa di Risparmio, in Viennese Secessionist style along Corso del Popolo, while the opposite side was designed by Giò Ponti (1951).

In the following decade, the skyscraper of Porte Contarine, 15 floors, was started in 1959 and finished in 1961 based on a project by Renato Iscra and Gaetano Luciani. The new Law Courts by Gino Valle and Piera Ricci are more recent (1984-1990).

In terms of road network, a special mention goes to the inauguration of the Padova-Venezia motorway: 15th October 1933, 8 metres wide, single lane…


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