Domenico e Pietro Marchelli

         The famous engineers and architects Giuseppe and Domenico Marchelli settled in Reggio at the end of the 18th century. Giuseppe (Massa Carrara, 1785-1839) did not leave many traces of his work on the city, unlike Domenico (Graglio di Veddasca, Varese, 1763 - Reggio Emilia, 1832) who started his career as a school art teacher in the times of French rule, and was then reappointed by the Este dynasty when they were returned to power.
He was then appointed as an architect for the municipality of Reggio, and while he was in this post he realised numerous projects around Reggio, such as the Trinità portico in Piazza d’Armi (1821) and the reconstruction of the façade of the houses on the left-hand side of the city’s Maestra a S. Pietro street.

         Pietro Marchelli was born to Domenico Marchelli and Teresa Corghi on 9 March 1806 in Reggio Emilia. He started out in the same profession as his father and excelled in his studies at the University of Modena, graduating with distinction in Mathematics in October 1830.
When he returned to Reggio, Pietro joined the city’s civil engineering department as an assistant to his father, and he took over from his father when he died. He was appointed captain of the Este militia and inspector of Reggio’s Ducal Palace by Francis IV, Duke of Modena, Reggio and Mirandola. He held a professorship in Architecture at the School of Fine Arts, and served as an advisor for the city council until 1873. Marchelli was also a member of numerous technical committees on construction and for years served as a member of the Ornato city council as well as on the city’s health board.
Some of his best works are: the magnificent Foro Borario building, which was commissioned by the Duke in 1845, the large Ducal Palace building (in front of the Ghiara basilica) which was turned into three buildings and made smaller in 1839 to make way for new streets, and the city’s main synagogue, which was rebuilt in 1857.
He carried out numerous restoration projects and projects involving making houses, buildings and country houses smaller. He showed a particular talent for these types of projects and he became very famous for them.
The engineer and architect Pietro Marchelli died in Quattro Castella on 29 October 1874.

         The inventory was drawn up using the index list from the Marchelli archive, which was created by the architect Walter Baricchi in 1980.


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