Photo provided by David Berlanda
|1995||Inscribed||Reasons for inscription|john booth (New Zealand):
Although the factories fell silent in 2003, the residential areas are still occupied and well maintained. The church, school and theatre are periodically open to visitors. But the Villa Padronale, the castle residence of Cristiforo Crespi is not open.
I reached Crespi d'Adda from Milan by taking the Matro to Gessate, then bus #Z310 to the terminus at Trezzo sul Adda. From there I crossed the bridge over the river to Capriate and followed the riverside road to the site.
Date posted: September 2011 David Berlanda (Italy / Czech Republic):
I have been once in the nice utopian company town of Crespi d’Adda, constructed from 1878 by the architects Angelo Colla, Ernesto Pirovano, Luigi Cavenaghi and Gaetano Moretti for the enlightened textile manufacturer Cristoforo Benigno Crespi to meet the workers’ need. The town is in a geometrically regular form and it is divided in two parts by the main road from Capriate San Gervasio. On the right, on the left bank of the river Adda, is the single block of the factory, projected by Pirovano, with decorations in medieval style. It is divided in sections: twisting, spinning, weaving, dyeworks, steam engine, boiler, power station, storehouses and offices. On the left, are the houses of the workers, the foremen and the executives, constructed in a rectangular grid of roads in three lines, in original plans two-storeyed buildings for several families, each with four rooms, and now individual family houses with a small garden and a vegetable garden, the latter separating the houses from the lavatories in the rear. The earlier houses have different stylistic and layout grounds. On the main square there is the church, projected by Cavenaghi following Bramante’s Temple of Santa Maria in Piazza in Busto Arsizio (the home of the founder of the company) and built from 1891 to 1983, the school, theatre and minor palaces. The castle(Crespi’s residence) with the stables, projected by Pirovano and completed in 1897, recalls the Romantic Gothic period using the ceppo stone of Capriate San Gervasio, fired bricks and cement and is a mixture of Neo-Gothic Lombard elements, sculptures and paintings with Moorish elements from Veneto. The cemetery with the Crespi family mausoleum, projected by Moretti, is in Art Noveau style. In the town there are also a wash-house, a working men’s club, public baths and showers, a hospital, a hotel, a cooperative building, shops, the rectory, the doctor's house, a pinewood and a sports centre with a field.
I quite liked this town because of the quality and originality of the architecture and also because I have never seen more important industrial sites, but there are some buildings not preserved well and the factory and many other buildings are closed to the public. It's worth to be visited if you are in Lombardy. It is one of the most important industrial towns and the most important in Italy and it justifies the inscription also because there aren't many indusrial sites on the WHL, even if I think that could be inscribed also the nearby hydroeletric power station (1906) in Trezzo d'Adda, projected by the same architects that worked in Crespi d'Adda for the same owner.
Foto: Crespi d'Adda - Factory
Date posted: March 2006
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