Central Station (Stazione Centrale)

Ulisse Stacchini
started 1912; finished 1931

View of the central block

Although the cornerstone for this railroad station was laid early in the century (even before the architect was selected), the plan by Ulisse Stacchini was chosen, a design influenced by the great Union station in Washington, D.C. and the construction began in 1912. However, with economic instability the building was halted and the railroad station only completed in 1931 after the urging of Mussolini, who saw the station as a symbol of Fascist power. Because of the building delays, the architect was required to make a number of changes in his original plan. Still, this is considered his major work.

Main block with flanking side wings

The structure is more than 200 meters wide.
The sculpture emphasizes the propaganda value for the Fascist regime: lions, muscular men, and proud winged steeds, for example.

A blend of styles

Art nouveau (or Liberty Style as it is sometimes called in Italy) was a popular style when the station was first designed. The building has some of the rectilinearity of Art Deco as well as some classical elements. (During Mussolini's reign, this style was sometimes called neo-Roman.)

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© 2008 Mary Ann Sullivan. I have photographed (on site), scanned, and manipulated all the images on these pages. Please feel free to use them for personal or educational purposes. They are not available for commercial purposes.