Virginia State Seal

Virginia Department of Historic Resources

124-0046 Pythian Castle

Pythian Castle
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For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 07/31/1980

NRHP Listing Date 10/30/1980

NPS property 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” currently houses the Portsmouth Regional Office of the Virginia Department of Historic Resources.


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

Updated April 4, 2018