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Pythian Castle

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1897–1898, Edward Overman. c. 1908, addition. 1983–1984, renovation, Hanbury and Company. 610–612 Court St.
  • Pythian Castle (Richard Guy Wilson)
  • Pythian Castle (Virginia Division of Historic Resources)

The Knights of Pythias, a secret fraternal order founded in the mid-nineteenth century, commissioned local architect and builder Edward Overman to design this extravagantly appointed meeting hall. The Romanesque Revival style selected for the exterior is consistent with the organization's medieval pretensions. The main facade is richly polychromed and ornamented with rusticated end pavilions and corner entrances treated as baldachins. The ground level was rented to commercial tenants, while the upper levels contained meeting rooms for the Knights. At present the building houses the southeastern regional office of the Virginia Department of Historic Resources.

Writing Credits

Richard Guy Wilson et al.


What's Nearby


Richard Guy Wilson et al., "Pythian Castle", [Portsmouth, Virginia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Virginia: Tidewater and Piedmont, Richard Guy Wilson and contributors. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002, 445-445.

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