Palazzo Fogazzaro was built in 1810 as the family residence, on a design by architect Carlo Barrera (1759 – 1837) from Lugano, who had also designed Palazzo Garbin and who was in Schio at the time supervising the works on Saint Peter’s Duomo. The Palace faces Via Pasini, the ancient Via Oltreponte also known as “of the Nuns”, it belongs to the category of Palladian buildings with portico and loggia and resembles a design by Vincenzo Scamozzi for Villa Franceschini in Arcugnano.
The building rises on a site previously occupied by a wool mill owned by the Fogazzaro family and located on an ancient ramification of the Roggia Maestra canal. The Fogazzaro family was originally from Staro but they moved to Schio at the beginning of the 18th century to venture into the wool manufacturing business. Their wool mill soon grew into an important factory, and, in 1769, it was considered one of the 25 privileged factories of the 75 existing in Schio, employing about a hundred people. Commissioning the new palace was Mariano Fogazzaro, great-grandfather of renowned author Antonio, who had been the “podestà” in 1809 but with the events of 1815 he moved to the more peaceful Padua, while his daughter and son in law remained in Schio. The building was originally used as a residence and warehouse for storing wool and corn, the family’s main business. The building was subsequently occupied by the Italian troops in WWI and later used as the headquarters of various institutions, among which the Royal Police Station and the Magistrate’s Court. Purchased by the Municipality in 1948 and restored in 1960, it hosted various schools and institutions.
A second restoration in the beginning of 2000 consolidated the structure, restored the basement, and partially renovated the frescoed hall and the Venetian pavements. In 2010 the courtyard was repaved. It is currently used as the City’s House of Arts, hosting permanent and temporary exhibitions, and an information centre for cultural and tourist events. The ‘barchesse’ host the Infomagiovani centre and a study room.