Look Up As You Pass By: The Pythian or “The Pharoah Watches Over Thee”

Let me ask the New Yorkers who might be reading this blog a question. When you walk through these city streets do you ever look up at what you are passing? You probably don’t because we often take this amazing city of ours for granted and are in such a hurry to get someplace that it never really crosses our mind to do different.  Recently I had gone into the city with Skeleton Pete as he was covering a Summerstage Concert for his blog but we were determined to maximize our time in the city and see the new “Captain America: The First Avenger” movie and enjoy some lunch before hitting the gig. Having accomplished those tasks we started to make our way over to the concert when I glanced up at a building and swore that there was a giant Egyptian Pharaoh sitting up there watching over the city. We were about a block away and figured perhaps that it was the consulate for that country and decided to take a little bit of a closer look. I shot from the vantage point on the corner of Broadway and 72nd Street. The building was a 1/4 of the way down the block and this image was WAY up on the high floors in these shots I am posting.

I zoomed in as best as I could with the trusty Panasonic Lumix and this was the best visual I could get. Mind you I was standing on the ground level and shooting a couple of hundred feet up in the air from an angle.  I was not about to go up into the building across the street to see if someone would let me take a straight on shot (this time at least LOL).  Still, this is not bad for a handy point and shoot camera. It was indeed a Pharaoh and he looked cool as all hell, but what was the building? Well read on my friends.

The building was called The Pythian and I neglected to take a shot of its entrance awning, but I can always go back for that again in the future and add it into this post.  The building had some impressive Egyptian themed statuary and theme.  It was designed by Thomas W. Lamb in 1927 to host the meetings of the Pythian lodges.  It eventually was sold when the orders numbers decreased and it became home to Decca Records.  No, I didn’t know all of this when I was there but looked on the building history.  I’ve pasted that link for your consumption at the end of the post.

I loved these stone grim visages on the columns.

Next up is the dedication plaque and stone.  It shows the year of the buildings birth and discusses the order of Pythius.

Since I realized no one could read the plaque in the preceding shot, I took a closer up view one for you.  You should be able to see that one clearly enough.  Interesting stuff.  I never joined any Fraternal Order of anything in my years but always think of the Water Buffalos from the Flintstones or the Raccoon Lodge from the Honeymooners when this kind of thing comes to mind.

As Skeleton Pete and I secured our shots a man who was locking up his bike started chatting with us and asked us where we were from.  He froze when we said “Brooklyn” since I guess he is used to only tourists stopping and taking pictures like this.  Oh well, I was glad to amuse.  He then said that there were apartments for sale in this now condominium space so I chuckled, “sure, when I have the extra million dollars to spend”.  He smiled and said that the apartments were more in the six million dollar range.  My, my, look at the time, it was looking like heading to the show would be a good idea now.  Of course if any kind benefactor wishes the HQ of the PiercingMetal site and PiercingKen Blog to relocate on their dime we are more than willing to discuss.

We were told that the building is much cooler on the inside but you will have to make the trip for yourself since I did not manage to do that. As mentioned they do have a website and you can peruse that via this LINK

Comment (1)

  1. Angela

    Great post! I should do some exploring sometime too! 🙂

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