Pythian Castle

VLR Listing Date


NRHP Listing Date


NRHP Reference Number

DHR's Virginia Board of Historic Resources easement

The three-story brick and stone Pythian Castle, with its visually arresting façade, is one of the best surviving examples of Romanesque Revival architecture in the city of Portsmouth. Designed by local architect and builder Edward Overman, Pythian Castle was constructed 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.

Last Updated: November 20, 2023

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

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