Casa Croci

The architect Antonio Croci was born in Mendrisio on 7 April 1823 and studied architecture at the Accademia delle Belle Arti in Milan. We know that here he distinguished himself by winning the first prize in a competition for "Architectural Invention".
He lived for many years in Turkey, working for the Court in Constantinople. However, we do not know a great deal about his work. The archive containing the plans of his work - kept by a distant relative of his, as Croci died a bachelor and had no direct heirs – was eventually destroyed.  It is very likely that he worked on several occasions for the Russian Baron Von der Wies, in particular on the construction of the castle at Valrose in Nice, which was completed in 1869. Between 1861 and 1865 he was involved in the renovation of the Church of St George at Ernen and of the church at Lax in the Canton of Valais in 1874. The following year he worked with the sculptor Vincenzo Vela (1820-1891) on plans for an equestrian monument dedicated to the Duke of Brunswick. The monument was never built, though the model is kept in the museum at Vela di Ligornetto. After a lengthy period in South America between 1871 and 1872 (in Buenos Aires), Antonio Croci was commissioned by a the Bernasconi family to build the Villa Argentina in Mendrisio.
Croci died of tuberculosis on 2 December 1884 in his house "parva sed apta mihi" (small but well suited to me) called Carlasch.