Palazzo Strozzi is one of the most beautiful Renaissance buildings in Florence. The Strozzi family, a family of bankers and antagonists of the Medici family, wanted to build a palace larger than Palazzo Medici. They copied the cubic shape of Palazzo Medici and built it on three floors around a central courtyard. In order to construct the building, Filippo Strozzi bought and demolished numerous buildings around his residence in order to have the land needed to build the largest palace ever seen in Florence. Despite the antagonism, it was thanks to Lorenzo the Magnificent's intercession that Strozzi was able to build the palace by occupying several portions of the roads. The initial design was attributed to Benedetto da Maiano; Giuliano da Sangallo made the beautiful wooden model of the design. There were numerous interruptions, due to economic problems, during the construction of the palace. However, thanks to the wealthy banker, Filippo Strozzi the younger, who married Clarice dei Medici, the palace was finished by Baccio D'Agnolo in 1538. The only thing that remained incomplete was the cornice. In the same year, Cosimo I confiscated the palace from the Strozzi family, as both Filippo and his son Piero had joined forces with France and the Florentine exiles against the Medici family. The Strozzi family only regained possession of their palace thirty years later.
Outside, you can still see the torch-holders, torch-carriers, standard bearers and wrought iron rings for the horses. They were created by the best ironworker in Florence, namely Niccolò Grosso, known as "il Caparra" (Caparra is an Italian word meaning "down payment") and also mentioned by Vasari in his Vite (Lives). The nickname was given to him because he did not trust any customer without getting a good advance payment on the work. An interesting fact links Palazzo Strozzi, Palazzo Gondi and Palazzo Medici-Riccardi to America. The architects Edward York and Philip Sawyer, who designed the Federal Reserve Building in New York, used the Florentine Renaissance palaces of the greatest bankers as a model to celebrate the birth of Wall Street. In the centre of the great metropolis, the rusticated building stands out amidst the modern skyscrapers.