As part of DOORS OPEN Pittsburgh, an annual two-day event that provides unprecedented access to buildings around the city, we are featuring 20 of the many buildings participating.

Today’s building is the Dollar Bank on Fourth Avenue down town.

Dollar Bank

A Brief History of Dollar Bank Ave. Fourth Ave.

By the end of the Civil War, the famous Dollar Bank on Fourth Ave. opened around 100 savings accounts weekly. The bank was renting rooms at that point on No. 65 Fourth Ave. The few rooms were becoming too small for the business that was going in and out of the bank.

The bank’s Board of Trustees approved a purchase of several lots on Fourth Ave. between Wood and Smithfield Sts. On the lots were the law offices of multiple attorneys. The bank ended up paying $12,000 for the lots. The building ended up taking awhile to build due to the Civil War and lack of materials. Actual construction didn’t even begin until 1869.

Isaac H. Hobbs & Son of Philadelphia were chosen as the bank’s architects. Hobbs was said to often publish ornate house designs in the old Godey’s Lady’s Book, a monthly home and fashion guide for women of the time. Hobbs planned fourteen thousand tons of brownstone quarried in Connecticut for the building. He supported the stone with columns of Allegheny Stone. The stretch of road in front of the bank had to undergo alterations to accommodate all the stones.

Take a 3D Virtual Tour of Dollar Bank’s historic Fourth Avenue location, brought to you exclusively by Pittsburgh Beautiful, right here:

The bank’s construction served as jobs to many local businesses. There were plumbers Jarvis, Halprin & Co., foundry work from Marshall Bros., William Boyd & Son for bricklaying and carpentry and many more. The project cost $190,000. Once it was done, the building set the standard for all the other banks around Fourth Avenue, which is known as Pittsburgh’s financial district.

Most famously, at the entrance of the bank are two gigantic lions. Max Kohler and his assistant, R.C. Morgan, made them.

* information from Dollar Bank’s website

For tickets to this outstanding event, you can visit Doors Open Pittsburgh here.

Buildings already featured here on Pittsburgh Beautiful:

Byers Hall

Allegheny HYP Club

Boggs Manion : The Inn on the Mexican War Streets

Alphabet City Building

David L. Lawrence Convention Center

The Oliver Building

EQT Plaza

The Engineer’s Society

The Pennsylvanian

The Priory Hotel

First Presbyterian Church

William Penn Snyder House

Union Trust Building

Koppers Building

Dollar Bank on Fourth Avenue

Speakeasy at the Omni William Penn

The Grant Building

PPG Place

Penn Brewery


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