Tag: Lions

  • The Lionhead, Shadyside

    Lion’s head

    Originally the Kent and the Howe, this pair of attached buildings was renamed for its most prominent decorative feature—the lion’s heads that preside over each entrance. The architects were the Chicago firm of Perry & Thomas, who were responsible for a number of apartment buildings in Shadyside and Oakland; they were especial favorites of the developer John McSorley.

    The Lionhead
    Nikon COOLPIX P100.
  • Bank in Dormont

    Bank in Dormont

    This building originally housed a bank, and was still a PNC branch until a few years ago. It was built in 1926, and it straddles the line between classical and Art Deco.

    Front of the building
    Lion ornament

    You know it’s a bank because it has a vomiting lion at the top of the building.

    Perspective view

    As with many banks, the elaborate stone front hides a building mostly clad in cheaper and more prosaic brick.

  • Top of the Diamond Bank Building

    Lion on the Diamond Bank Building

    Banks and lions go together all over Pittsburgh, and the top of the Diamond Bank Building, an early skyscraper designed by MacClure & Spahr, has a copper cornice bristling with lion heads.

    Top of the Diamond Bank Building
  • 819 and 821 Penn Avenue

    819 and 821 Penn Avenue

    A pair of commercial buildings with striking terra-cotta details—especially No. 819, on the left. The huge windows would have allowed light to pour into workshops on the upper floors.

    Greek key and egg and dart
    Vitruvian scroll

    Truly enlightened zoning regulations would mandate cornices with lions’ heads on all buildings more than four storeys tall.

    Side by side
  • Lion’s Head, Shady Oak Apartments

    A lion’s-head ornament on the Shady Oak Apartments on the border of Shadyside and Oakland.

  • Lion on the Keystone Bank Building

    Lion on the Keystone Bank

    Fourth Avenue has a denser population of lions than anywhere else in Pittsburgh, and possibly anywhere else in North America.

  • Commercial National Bank

    Commercial National Bank

    This little bank on Fourth Avenue was originally designed by Alden and Harlow. The central section has been ruthlessly mutilated, with the elegant arch replaced by a cartoon suggestion of an arch. For reasons unknown, much of the rest of the building was left untouched (although it is pretty clearly missing its top), and the details there are enough to make it worth our while to stop and admire them.

    Of course there are lions. How could there not be lions?

  • The Lionhead, Shadyside

    Twin lion heads guard the entrances to the Lionhead, an apartment building in Shadyside.

  • Decorations on the Parkvale Building, Oakland

    The richly decorated Parkvale Building on Forbes Avenue is currently under renovation, so we can hope that these splendid reliefs will continue to delight future generations of Pittsburghers.

  • Lion on the Allegheny County Courthouse

    Romanesque lions guard the Allegheny County Courthouse. They would originally have been at street level before Grant Street was lowered by about a storey.