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Knights of Pythias Temple - Dallas, TX
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member QuarrellaDeVil
N 32° 47.038 W 096° 47.224
14S E 707246 N 3629504
Quick Description: Built in 1916 and designed by William Sidney Pittman, the Knights of Pythias Temple stands empty at 2551 Elm St, Dallas, TX, on the edge of Deep Ellum.
Location: Texas, United States
Date Posted: 1/12/2015 6:07:39 PM
Waymark Code: WMN7HM
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member bluesnote
Views: 5

Long Description:
The old temple is currently empty, and unfortunately, it is closer to demolition than it is to restoration, as efforts over the last few years have turned up no progress. The Deep Ellum Foundation has a sign here with some history:

The state headquarters of the Grand Lodge of the Colored Knights of Pythias was completed in 1916. Designed by the black architect William Sidney Pittman, it was the most distinctive building in Deep Ellum. A Beaux Arts structure made of red brick, it featured tall arched windows and a neo-classical façade. The lodge, founded in Galveston, Texas, in 1883, doubled as a life insurance company or mutual benefit association, providing burial expenses.

In its heyday, the first floor of the building had a barbershop and drugstore. The second and third floors provided office space for many of Dallas' black doctors, dentists and professionals, including Dr. P.M. Sunday and agricultural agent Cedar Walton, father of the jazz musician of the same name. The Golden Chain of the World, an organization similar to the Pythians, and the Negro Business Bureau also had offices there. The fourth-floor ballroom, complete with an elaborate chandelier, was used for dances, performances and other community events.

In March 1919, the Fisk Jubilee Singers, who toured the country popularizing African American sacred music, performed "classics, songs and old plantation melodies" in the ballroom. General admission was a quarter; reserved seats, 50 cents. That October, Sgt. Neadham Roberts, described in the "Express" as "Our First Colored Hero of the World War" and "the Hell-Fighting Hero," lectured there, under the auspices of the NAACP. Admission was 50 cents. In January 1923, George Washington Carver demonstrated sweet potato products for an audience of 800.
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