This building was erected in 1928 by the Knights of Pythias, a fraternal organization and secret society. It was designed to look like a castle and serve as their headquarters and meeting place, otherwise known as a Lodge.
The Knights of Pythias was the first fraternal organization to receive a charter under the United States congress, granted by President Abraham Lincoln, and were founded in Washington, DC, on February 19, 1864. The Order was founded by Jusus H, Rathbone, who was inspired by a play about the legend of Damon and Pythias. The legend dealt with the ideals of loyalty, honor and friendship, which are central to the purpose of the Knights. The early members would receive a ceremonial sword upon initiation. The degrees of Pythian Knighthood are: Page (1st), Esquire (2nd) and Knight (3rd). As of 2003, there were over two-thousand lodges around the world with a total membership of over 50,000. These numbers have dwindled significantly since the later part of the 20th Century as membership in such secret fraternities became less important to society as a whole, in many cases being looked upon by suspicious outsiders as being involved with widespread conspiracies, most of which are unfounded.
Taken from their website: "The Pythian Story bases its lessons and builds it ritual largely on the familiar story of the friendship of Damon and Pythias, who were historical characters living about four hundred or more years before the beginning of the Christian era. They were members of a school, founded by Pythagoras, who was known as the father of Greek philosophy."
"To become a member of the Pythagorean Brotherhood, certain very rigorous tests were demanded and applied, some of which are very similar to the ritualistic work of our order today. The object of the organization was the moral uplifting and purification of society. Strict morality, absolute truthfulness, honor and integrity were thoroughly inculcated in the minds of its membership. It was a maxim of Pythagoras that the two most excellent things for man were "to speak the truth and to render benefits to each other" The outstanding feature of the society, however, was the marvelous friendship and loyalty which bound the brotherhood together with hoops of steel, which was so remarkably demonstrated in the incident which forms the historic basis of our order. "
Following the decline in membership of such organizations, the building was sold to various local companies. The Castle (aka The Beaux Arts/aka Carter Carburetor/ACF Administration Building) has an indoor parking garage, which is partially in use, however the main upper portions of the building remained unused for some time. Efforts were made in 2011 to secure and renovate the building.
In 2012, this building was completely renovated. It is now home to the Grand Center Arts Academy.