Ex Public wash house

Gino Cecchini St, 65 - 67, Cesenatico, Municipality of Cesenatico, Emilia-Romagna Region, Italy
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Typology:
Public wash-house
Year of build:
1914
Original name:
Public wash-house with a building for the disinfection of clothes and a building for the baths
Style:
The building was not built according to architectural codified canons
Architect:
Amilcare Zavatti
Past and Present Ownership of the Building/Site:
Municipality of Cesenatico (FC)

Architectural Description

The architectural complex called “ex Lavatoio” (ex pubblic wash-house) is composed of two houses with square plan and to a single floor and of a long canopy to rectangular plan and that it rises on 18 pillars in masonry. One house was used for the disinfection of clothes and the other house was used for public toilets. The building for cleaning clothes had two boilers for wet disinfection and a stove for steam disinfection. The pubblic bathroom building was equipped with a dressing room, a shower and a bathtub for personal hygiene. The canopy contained the tanks to wash the clothes after they had been disinfected. The wash tanks were arranged in two parallel rows. There were 40 tanks for washing clothes, made of reinforced concrete, and composed of two distinct parts: the washing table and the actual tank. The structure was damaged during the Second World War, but in a slight way and still today it is possible to have the full overview of the architectural complex of origin. In recent years a conservative restoration of the buildings had begun, but for several reasons the project was not completed: a sign of this attempt at recovery is the glass closure of the structure that originally contained the tanks for washing the cloths.

History and Historical Context

In 1912 the Municipality of Cesenatico approved the construction of a new wash-house in an area near the port. The plant is designed by Eng. Amilcare Zavatti of Cesena, as technical chief of the Municipality of Cesenatico. The masonry works are contracted out to the Workers' Cooperative, bricklayers and cement workers of Ravenna. The hydraulic system components are supplied and assembled by the company of engineer Felice Coni of Milan. Construction work began in 1913 and ended in March 1914. In May 1914, the additional project for drilling an artesian well for the supply of water needed for the entire complex was approved. The new wash-house came into operation in 1915 after the approval in the City Council of the regulations of use (08 February 1915) and the tariff of use (08 April 1915) and is used until the second post-war period. Subsequently, the main function of the complex lost its importance mainly due to the increasing diffusion of household washing machines. The last destination of use of the architectural complex was that of laboratory and warehouse of the “Museo della Marineria” (civic museum ). Today it is not used.

Values of the Building

The public wash house in Cesenatico is important for its scientific and artistic aspects and for the local history. For the reference period, it was a very modern building because it housed a room that was used to disinfect clothes with steam. It has an architectural style that distinguishes it from the other public wash houses built in the neighboring territory . The public wash house in Cesenatico was a meeting place for the citizens of Cesenatico because it was the only place where people could disinfect their clothes. The public wash house of Cesenatico, finally, it contributed to the tourist promotion of the city of Cesenatico because the Municipality of Cesenatico could guarantee that in the city there was a safe place to wash the clothes and could avoid the spread of infectious diseases. The public wash house of Cesenatico has been declared of Arctic historical interest by Italian Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism.