Lions of Stone

On my recent visit to Fond du Lac I took a walk down Main Street, nearly always a worthwhile endeavor for the architectural history fan. Just a few blocks south of my hotel I came upon this magnificent stone lion.

Stone lionHe’s one of a pair who guard a bold, arched entryway declaring the building to be a BANK. It’s a small, two-story Romanesque Revival building in brownstone, a style and material particularly suited to vigorous carving. Below the lion you can see an elaborate pattern in the capital.

The building, it turns out, dates from 1903 and was the Commercial National Bank—but only for 20 years. Though the lions may have lost their metaphorical value as guardians, they still make a strong impression.

— Michael Bridgeman


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