The presence of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Detroit was established on the 10th of November 1899, when Mr. Pietro Cardiello, a broker of an Italian bank, was appointed Consular Agent under the representation of the Consulate General of Chicago. At the turn of the century, the Italian community was in fact already well established in Michigan and held prominent positions in business and craftsmanship.
The subsequent development of the automobile industry in the following years attracted a great number of Italian immigrants. Even the founder of Fiat, Giovanni Agnelli, came to visit the factories of Detroit for pure inspirational purposes. In 1926, the post was officially elevated to a Vice Consulate, under the auspices of the Consulate General in Chicago. Umberto Nobile and the Under-Secretary of State Suvich were amongst the dignitaries who visited Detroit during that time.
When Italy went to war, the Vice Consulate was closed and a large portion of the archives was burned. The remaining files were stored in the Church of the Silvestriani Order. In December 1946, the Vice Consulate was reopened in the First National Building, and its jurisdiction expanded to cover the state of Indiana. In the following years, the Italian community increased both in number and importance, as was portrayed by the visits of Prime Ministers De Gasperi and Scelba and by the President of the Republic Gronchi.
Following its increased prominence, in 1954, the post was elevated to a First Class Consulate. When the Consulate in Cleveland was closed down in 1980, Ohio was added to the Consulate’s jurisdiction. In 1997, when the Consulate in New Orleans was closed, the Consulate extended its jurisdiction to both Kentucky and Tennessee.
Since 2021, the Consulate holds its office in the Renaissance Center, a valuable example of contemporary architecture in the downtown Detroit area.
List of Consuls of Detroit
- Consul Paola Allegra Baistrocchi: 2021 –
- Consul Maria Manca: 2017 – 2021
- Consul Maria Luisa Lapresa: March 2013 – 2017
- Consul Marco Nobili : December 2008 – February 2013
- Consul Carlo Romeo: September 2006 – November 2008
- Consul Nicola De Santis: June 2002 – September 2006
- Consul Gianluca Alberini: January 1999 – May 2002
- Consul Michele Quaroni: January 1995 – January 1999
- Consul Giuseppe Mistretta: September 1990 – October 1995
- Consul Marco Mataccotta: March 1987 – June 1990
- Consul Gabriella Meneghello: September 1984 – January 1987
- Consul Margherita Bortoletto: March 1980 – January 1984
- Consul Silvio Fagiolo: May 1975 – August 1979
- Consul Venanzio Rapolla: April 1971 – July 1974
- Consul Luigi Lauriola: January 1967 – September 1970
- Consul Pietro Rinaldi: 1963 – 1966
- Consul Giuseppe Della Croce Di Dojola: 1961 – 1963
- Consul Eric Da Rin: 1957 – 1961
- Consul Antonio Carloni: 1954 – 1957
- Vice Consul Gian Luigi Grasselli Barni: 1951 – 1954
- Vice Consul Maurizio Varalda: 1946 – 1951
- Vice Consul Giacomo Profili: December 5, 1938 – June 14, 1941
- Vice Consul Enrico Guastone Belcredi: August 7, 1935 – 1936
- Vice Consul Giacomo Ungarelli: January 10, 1934
- Vice Consul Ugo Berni Canani: October 19, 1926