The Pythian is historic, and eye candy – but “hidden” in its mid-block location. It’s definitely worth the detour if you’re in the neighborhood of Broadway at W 70th Street.
The Pythian (condominiums), originally Pythian Temple, was built for the Knights of Pythias on West 70th Street between Columbus Avenue and Broadway, in 1927.
Pythian Temple was designed by Thomas W. Lamb in the Egyptian Revival style with bright, colorful glazed terra cotta at street level; even grander decoration graced the building’s top floors.
As the Knights of Pythias declined in popularity, its building found other uses. Decca Records had a studio here in the ’40s and ’50s; the New York Institute of Technology bought the building for its main campus in 1958.
In 1983 the structure was converted to condominium apartments. In the process, the formerly windowless floors of the middle section (all but the topmost setback) were glazed over. (See the Times’ slideshow to view the original facade.) Also see architect David Gura’s portfolio page for the project, with before/after and cutaway views.
The Pythian’s most famous (former) resident was Stefani Germanotta – aka Lady Gaga.
The Pythian Vital Statistics
- Location: 135 W 70th Street between Broadway and Columbus Avenue
- Year completed: 1927
- Architect: Thomas W. Lamb (original); David Gura (1986 conversion)
- Floors: 8
- Style: Egyptian Revival
- New York City Landmark: 1990 (part of Upper West Side/Central Park West Historic District)
The Pythian Suggested Reading
- Wikipedia entry
- NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission designation report (Upper West Side/Central Park West Historic District – p. 239)
- The Pythian website
- City Realty review
- The New York Times – Real Estate slideshow
- The New York Times review
- David Gura portfolio page with before/after and cutaway views