In 1949 the State Monopoly Administration announced a competition for the construction of the new tobacco factory that was won by Pier Luigi Nervi. The factory was completed in 1952. The building was a symbol of the rebirth of Bologna after World War II (44 percent of the city was destroyed or severely damaged). The Manifattura was not only an efficient industrial machine, but also a concrete sign of modernity for the Bolognese. Until its closure in 1998, the Manifattura functioned as a city within the city: the daily meeting point of a thousand workers.
Since 2004 the complex is left in a state of neglect for years, even becoming a refuge for homeless and drug dealing. In 2011 the Region of Emilia Romagna organized a design competition for the rehabilitation and in 2015 the work began with the complete demolition of the street front offices.