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
DHR has secured permanent legal protection for over 700 historic places - including 15,000 acres of battlefield lands
DHR has erected 2,532 highway markers in every county and city across Virginia
DHR has engaged over 450 students in 3 highway marker contests
DHR has stimulated more than $4.2 billion dollars in private investments related to historic tax credit incentives, revitalizing communities of all sizes throughout Virginia