We're looking at out first historical marker today, but it's not the traditional roadside metal plaque on a post you might be thinking about. This is a stone stele in downtown Montgomery with 4 lion heads around the top.
If you've ever been to Court Square in Montgomery, you've certainly seen the fountain that dominates the roundabout. We'll cover the fountain in a later post, but just northeast of the fountain is a small triangular park, and you'll find the lion heads on the western tip. Drivers probably pass them all the time and think "why did someone put four lion heads on a post?" If only they all read Goat Hill History.
In 1888, Montgomery's largest business was the Moses Brothers Banking & Realty Company, and they built the city's first "skyscraper", a six-story building on Court Square. That building was demolished in 1907 to make way for the new twelve-story home of the First National Bank of Montgomery. The top of the building was lined with a few dozen lion heads, as you can see in the next photo.
The name of the bank changed a few times, and in 1978 the the building received the most significant renovation in its lifetime. The lions were left homeless, and the next photo shows the end result for the "skyscraper".
Someone at the bank decided that at least a few of the lion heads were worth saving, and the existing monument is the result of that effort. You can read the plaque's inscription here, or see the next photo.
The lion heads didn't alter the course of the nation, or even the course of the city, but they're a fun little oddity. Be sure to check back next week, where we'll venture way out of town for the most remote historical marker in Montgomery County.