Herman Miller, architect for Hanover’s well-known Sheppard and Myers homes, was also the architect for the grand, four column PNC Bank found in the first block of Carlisle Street, just a few footsteps away from our square. Traffic, both by car and foot, passes by this building daily, with very few knowing about Hanover’s “caged” lion.
Originally known as the home of Hanover Saving Fund Society, the institution was chartered on April 14, 1835, by “Matthias N. Forney, Henry Meyers, Peter Muller, Henry C. Wampler, David Diehl, Daniel Barnitz, William Bair, Daniel P. Lange, Peter Winebrenner, William D. Gobrecht, George Gitt, John L. Hinkle, Benjamin Welsh, Adam Alt, Samuel Trone, Jacob Hilt, and David Slagle of Hanover Borough and Samuel Hornish, George Eichelberger, and Charles Cremer of Heidelberg Township, York County…” (Source: Immigrant Entrepreneurship) Why include this list here? Hanover residents will note the familiarity of many of these surnames.
The cash capital at the time of charter was $10,000. Records show that deposits held in August of 1875 were $590,228, which received 5% interest. Interest in 1884 was listed as 3%.
The published “Reports of the Several Banks and Savings Institutions and Banks Organized under the Free banking Law of Pennsylvania,” published by the State Printer in Harrisburg in 1891, includes a report for the Hanover Savings Fund Society. The 1890 assessed value for the previous property in 1890 was $7,000. Bonds held and owned by the Society in 1890 included ones for various railroad companies and Western Union, as well as gas and water companies.
Architect Herman Miller was born in the Roxborough area of Philadelphia, and helped design numerous respected facilities in that area. He went on to set out on his own by 1898, with a noted specialty in the design of hospitals and banks. In addition to Hanover’s, he is also the architect of our neighbor’s Gettysburg National Bank a few years later. The Philadelphia Architects and Buildings institution holds five drawings from Miller’s work on the Hanover project.
The Neoclassical concrete and brick structure we see downtown was erected in 1906 for approximately $100,000. It features Barre Vermont granite and American Pavanaza marble. The bank later was known as the Bank of Hanover, and is now owned by PNC Bank. The structure features a lion sculpture above the doorway, but later changes at the front have altered the view so the glass-encased figure is difficult to see by pedestrians at ground level. The photograph included here was captured from the roof of the Heritage and Conference Center, enabling a rare view of Hanover’s hidden feline.
“York’s Historic Architecture” by Scott D. Butcher, The History Press, 2008