Pythian Castle

Pythian Castle Exterior

Pythian Castle, or more formerly, The Pythian Home of Missouri, is a historic Springfield structure, originally built by the Knights of Pythias, a fraternal order,  in 1913 as a home for widows and orphans of their members.  It was listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places on October 7, 2009 (Reference # 09000812).  Later, it was owned by the US Army, and is now under private ownership.

Pythian Castle Grand Hallway

Warren & Goodin became involved in the dynamics of the building in 2010 after several years of unsuccessful and increasingly contentious interactions between the city and the building’s new owner, as they attempted to rehab the building from its neglected condition into a public showplace. Initially brought in as an engineering consultant, Warren & Goodin was soon asked to assume all architectural responsibilities as well, and became the third such firm to attempt the project.

Pythian Castle Ballroom

Our challenge was to start fresh and bridge the owner’s fractured relationship with the city to find commonality between building codes and the owner’s eclectic vision for the historic building. Accomplishing this was no small task, and required problem solving and diplomacy to see the project to completion. Through cordial relationships with city officials and a knowledge of both what the building code requires for public safety, as well as why, our staff was able to plot a way forward. Designs were created for additional parking, stormwater control, improved vehicle and fire apparatus access, electrical upgrades, emergency equipment, and fire alarm systems.  Additionally, structural and HVAC systems were analyzed for life safety compliance.  All with an eye toward not diminishing the historic appearance and beauty of the building.

Pythian Castle Theater

In a matter of a few months, both the city’s and owner’s requirements were successfully met, and a permit was issued that allowed our client to not only maintain the property as their private residence, but also satisfy their vision of providing a unique venue for both special events and entertainment. On any given evening, the Castle may be hosting a wedding ceremony, banquet, murder mystery dinner theater, or night time ghost tour.

* All photos courtesy of Marina Freeman, © All rights reserved