like Alvinos however floundered in a municipal administration tangled by rival

Like alvinos however floundered in a municipal

This preview shows page 198 - 200 out of 280 pages.

like Alvino’s, however, floundered in a municipal administration tangled by rival interests and financial instability. The plight of the abject city became a cause among writers and artists when a cholera epidemic swept the city in 1884.The head of the municipal engineering board,Adolfo Giambarba, secured government funds for an emergency plan through special legislation. The plan concentrated on the port and market areas. It would be the urban equivalent of a swampland reclamation, a bonifica , regularizing street levels of the sodden district and gutting the most dense zone with the diagonal slice Alvino planned.The cross streets that branch from the rettifilo were aimed at knocking out each of the infamous fondaci . Local contractors were so inexperienced on jobs of such magnitude, however, that their unrealistic construction bids were annulled and the city had to turn to a consortium of capitalists from the industrial north, who secured favorable terms for their loans. The overblown architecture that lines the Via del Rettifilo concedes no thriftiness, however.These fulsome facades display an eclectic variety of mannerist decorations, all in stucco.At the Piazza Nicola Amore, the Rettifilo’s midpoint, four bulky speculative apartment buildings by Pier Paolo Quaglia were erected.The highly self-conscious ostentation, a far cry from Alvino’s reasoned neo- Renaissance designs, was the consortium’s aesthetic sellout to an affluent market that might guarantee a return on its investment.There are no public buildings on the Rettifilo, with the exception of the rehabilitated Naples University building. In any other city, a major public building—a post office, museum, church, or city hall—would dominate. Instead, sixty-two churches and chapels were destroyed in 198 the architecture of modern italy
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the sventramento project, but even Benedetto Croce, philosopher and founder of Naples’ preservation movement, was forced to admit: On these big and pompous buildings we have all said and will continue to say the worst from the artistic point of view. But, truly, who looks on them with eyes still offended by the former filth of dying Naples cannot hold to too subtle and refined an aesthetic taste. In these palazzi one had to recognize the execution machinery of a justice too long awaited. In the end, the government-sponsored risanamento of Naples was manipulated into an instrument of private capitalist gain that only benefited a small portion of the citizens it was originally intended to help. Compounding problems, the glutted market of upscale apartments ate away at any profits, and further depressed the local economy. Indeed, the microeconomy of the back alley continues to characterize the Neapolitan experience. Programs of modern risanamento encouraged by the national government proved in the end to be both paternalistic and exploitative.Adding insult to injury, these failed interventions also allowed for the rise of systems of organized crime and corruption that still affect the political and commercial life of the city.
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  • Spring '17
  • Archt. De Veyra

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