Virginia State Seal Virginia Department of Historic Resources

124-0046 Pythian Castle

Pythian Castle
Photo credit: Calder Loth/DHR, 1998

*Click on image to enlarge.

For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 07/31/1980

NRHP Listing Date 10/30/1980

DHR's Virginia Board of Historic Resources easement

NRHP Reference Number 80004316

This three-story brick and stone building, with its visually arresting facade, is one of the best surviving examples of Romanesque Revival architecture in Portsmouth. Designed by local architect and builder Edward Overman, Pythian Castle was built in 1897-98. Typical of the period’s fraternal lodges, the exotic edifice housed the meetings of the Knights of Pythias, a secret organization. It and similar fraternal societies were normally the chief patrons of such stylistically conspicuous late-19th-century buildings, usually the most elaborate structures in their communities. The “Castle” is located in the Downtown Portsmouth Historic District.

Many properties listed in the registers are private dwellings and are not open to the public, however many are visible from the public right-of-way. Please be respectful of owner privacy.

VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark

Updated: May 13, 2021