The Dollar Bank Building
Dollar Bank is a full service, regional bank serving both individuals and business customers throughout southwestern Pennsylvania and northeastern Ohio. The bank’s Pennsylvania headquarters is located in downtown Pittsburgh, at the corner of Fourth Avenue and Smithfield Street. The 140-plus year old building is one of the most distinctive buildings in the City of Pittsburgh, a lasting remnant of the by-gone era of 19th century architecture.
The Pittsburgh Dollar Savings Institution was founded, on July 19, 1855, by Charles A. Colton. On September 4, 1858, Pittsburgh Dollar Savings Institution was renamed "The Dollar Savings Bank." The headquarters of the Dollar Savings Bank was opened in March 1871, and the building still in operation today.
The Dollar Savings Bank Building was constructed using 1,400 tons of brownstone, pink Quincy granite and significant amounts of marble and brass. In 1871, two stone lions, sculpted by Max Kohler, were placed at the front door as symbols of the guardianship of the people’s money. Each lion was carved from a single block of quarry-bedded brownstone.
The ornate interior of the bank headquarters was accentuated in 1896 with the addition of The Board Room, installed at a cost of $37,981. An expansion of the building, in 1906, added the East and West wings.
In 1938, the original vault in The Dollar Savings Bank Building was relocated to the basement too make room for the addition of the Trustee Boards Anteroom. The vault was installed after the St. Patrick’s Day Flood of 1936, which devastated downtown Pittsburgh. The new vault was not only fireproof, but also flood-proof. In the 1960s, the cupola skylights atop the building were filled in. In 2009, the stone lion statues at the front entrance were removed and taken offsite for restoration.
Dollar Bank's official headquarters is currently at 3 Gateway Center. In 2009, the Dollar Bank was the largest independent mutual bank in the nation. The traditional headquarters building at 340 Fourth Avenue in Pittsburgh is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
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