Look Inside: Historic Pythian Building in Downtown New Orleans Renovated

Katherine Sayre for NOLA.com | The Times Picayune

The historic Pythian building on Loyola Avenue downtown has reopened, nearing the end of a $44 million renovation into apartments targeted at middle-income renters, a soon-to-open food market and healthcare focused businesses.

Green Coast Enterprises, Crescent City Community Land Trust and ERG Enterprises acquired the nine-story building and led the renovation, which StudioWTA Architects designed. 

A total of 69 apartments are being rented — 25 set aside at lower income-adjusted rates for residents earning roughly $30,000 to $70,000 in New Orleans.

A Pythian Market with 19 food vendors on the street level is under construction and expected to open in November.

Each apartment will have hanging bike storage that doubles as bookshelves for residents who don’t have bikes. On the ground floor, the building will offer the city’s first bike wash, a station where tenants can clean their bikes.

Magnolia Physical Therapy and Access Health Louisiana primary and specialty care clinic will also be housed in the building. 

The building was originally developed in 1908 by S.W. Green, the leader of the Grand Lodge Colored Knights of Pythias, an African American fraternal organization. The building quickly became a center of African American commercial life in the early 20th century, including Green’s Liberty Independent Life Insurance Co., a bank, the Negro Board of Trade and the Louisiana Weekly newspaper. A popular theater and rooftop garden hosted performances that included an appearance from a young Louis Armstrong.

NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune recently took a tour of the building. Learn more about the history and take a peek inside by watching the video here.