On this day in 1798, Italian architect Alessandro Antonelli was born in Ghemme near Novara in the region of Piedmont. After study in Milan and Turin, Antonelli worked for the state as a planner. Winning an architecture contest in 1828 seems to have inspired him to move to Rome for further study. Between 1836 and 1857 he undertook the ambitious project to renovate the centro storico of Turin, where he also served as professor at the Albertina Academy. His best known work is the Mole Antonelliana in Turin, built originally as a Jewish synagogue but now serving as the Museo Nazionale del Cinema.