The Pythian Castle
The green cupola of the Pythian Castle is a prominent feature of Bisbee's skyline. This structure labelled as a castle by the locals also includes a bell tower, whose clock still gives people in town time. Looking now as it did in 1904, the castle was built by Swedish immigrant, Joseph Muheim, to be a home for the fraternal society, the Knights of Pythias. a few decades ago the building became home to apartments and has recently undergone a restoration process to maintain its 1904 look.
Backstory and Context
In 1904, this structure was completed, costing about $3000 (in 1904 dollars). Ever since then it as been known and beloved for its green cupola that rises high and its bell tower with clock. The latter is provides its services to the town. Oddly, enough, the Pythian Castle would only be used by members of the society for 10 years. Such short term use was caused by a confrontation with a local union mining club. The Knights let the union use the second floor for their meetings. However, shortly thereafter, a rift grew. This rift was bad enough that rather than the union miners leaving, the Knight left the building meant for them and went elsewhere. The miners took control of the castle until the 1940s when membership decreased significantly, causing the castle to be abandoned for a number of years.
In the 1980s the city turned the castle into an apartment building. This decision happened to many other historic buildings in Bisbee in order to stabilize and save them. In 2015, the castle was renovated to have floor plans that appeared as it did in 1904 while maintaining its use as an apartment building.