The Pythian

THE PYTHIAN: A development that honors our community´s culture and benefits our economy

By Alejandra Guzmán

Click aqui para español->El Pythian

Historic preservation represents a commitment to honor our history and culture. From an economic-development perspective, historic preservation supports vibrant urban environments that promote commerce, tourism, and other activities that attract investment and promote economic growth. The Pythian building is a great example of this.

The Pythian building was constructed in 1908 as the epicentre for African-American business, community gatherings and cultural expression. Its rooftop hosted numerous social gatherings that witnessed many love stories unfold.

One of them in particular, would later be immortalized through art commissioned by the Pythian building partners. Many years later, the building was used as the hiring office for Higgins Industries. Andrew Higgins, who was described by Dwight D. Eisenhower as “the man who won the war for us”, maintained his office in the building during WWII.

Co-developers of the building, ERG Enterprises, Green Coast Enterprises, and the Crescent City Community Land Trust, identified the historic richness of this building and the value its restoration would bring to the community. Their intentional efforts to preserve the building’s cultural value is evident throughout the building.

 An example of those intentional efforts is displayed within the Pythian Market food hall. Recently commissioned by the developers, this space now eternalizes the portrait of civil right leaders A.P. Tureaud Sr. and his wife Lucille Dejoie through a large mural created by local artist Brandan “B-mike” Odums. A.P. Tureaud and his wife Lucille Dejoie met at the Pythian and dedicated a lifetime to fighting segregation and social injustice in Louisiana.

Dr. Eric George of ERG Enterprises stated, “Brandan’s depiction of A.P. and Lucille is a wonderful representation of all the different stories of love, history, and culture that took place in the building. The contemporary form was an excellent present-day tribute to such a rich history”.

Visitors to the Pythian Market food hall will also experience a taste of our community´s diverse and rich culture through a great selection of international cuisines. I look forward to seeing additional development in our city that proves to be beneficial to our community´s culture and our local economy. Until next time!

Twitter @aleguzman

Alejandra Guzman

Writer/Escritora 

Economic Development/Desarrollo Economico

@aleguzman

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Publisher's Note

I moved to the United States almost 20 years ago, and as a sports fan, I couldn't stand the fact that I did not understand how American football worked.

It was impossible not to get infected by the passion and the love New Orleanians have for the boys in the Black and Gold, so I made it a point to learn the basics and join the fun of watching the beloved Saints play.

I was lucky to suffer with a weak team only for a few years, and I was fortunate to be part of the WHO DAT Nation when they made it to the Super Bowl in Miami.

Even though the Super Bowl we wished for this year did not happen, our team gave us a great season, and off the field, many Saints players are doing so much for this community through their foundations and giving back some love to their fan base. Today, The Saints continue to be an essential driving force of our community.

It is amazing what passion and pride can do for the city of New Orleans. The Saints gave us an incredible season! I know we’ve had a few weeks of coping, and many people have decided to party away from television sets the night of the championship game, but I still want to thank the New Orleans Saints for all the joy they gave us this last season.

Like most of you, I'm always proud to yell out loud WHO DAT!

AnaMaria