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There are two pairs of Dollar Bank lions.

The original lions were carved by 28-year-old Max Kohler, a German immigrant, and his assistant, Richard Morgan, a Welsh immigrant, in 1871, when Dollar Bank's Fourth Avenue Building was nearing completion.

Kohler's lions, each carved on site out of a single block of Portland brownstone, were given individual expressions and poses.  They flank the main entrance to the building, symbolizing guardianship of the depositors' money.

Dollar Bank Fourth Avenue Building lions

Max Kohler and family

Max Kohler and family in 1879.  Photo courtesy of Kohler family.

By 2009, the lions had undergone substantial deterioration.  They were removed from their plinths and transported to Oberlin, Ohio, where they were carefully restored by McKay Lodge Fine Art Conservation Laboratory, Inc.  The lions were returned to Dollar Bank's Fourth Avenue Building in February 2012 but, at the recommendation of experts, were installed inside the building, where they would no longer be subject to Pittsburgh's harsh weather conditions.

A brand-new pair of lions, exact replicas of the 1871 originals, were hand-carved by Nicholas Fairplay and Brian C.E. Baker, in Oberlin, Ohio, in 2012-2013.

Nicholas Fairplay

Nicholas Fairplay

Brian C.E. Baker

Brian C.E. Baker

In May 2013, the new lions were installed at Fourth Avenue.

 

 

 

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