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Pythian Castle Lodge

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1927, Richard Oberst. 1925 W. National Ave.
  • (Photograph by Andrew Hope)
  • (Photograph by Andrew Hope)

This eclectic design incorporates certain Spanish Colonial architectural details, including its scrolled gables, red tile roof, and arched, double-door entrance framed by rope-twisted columns and inverted scrolled console brackets. A second elaborate stone surround frames the window above. The lodge housed a chapter of the Knights of Pythias, once the third-largest fraternal organization in America. Here, the Pythians socialized, practiced fraternal rituals, and planned charitable activities. Life insurance benefits available to club members made it particularly attractive to working-class men. As was the case with many fraternal organizations nationwide, Knights of Pythias membership declined during the Great Depression, when poverty strained resources and government assumed welfare responsibilities. These Pythians rented their hall out to labor unions in the 1950s, but financial shortfalls forced the lodge to disband in 1980.

Writing Credits

Marsha Weisiger et al.


What's Nearby


Marsha Weisiger et al., "Pythian Castle Lodge", [Milwaukee, Wisconsin], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Wisconsin

Buildings of Wisconsin, Marsha Weisiger and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2017, 111-111.

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