Images of Pythian Temple, now Martin Luther King, Jr. Performing and Cultural Arts Complex, Columbus, Ohio, by Samuel Plato.

Pythian Temple, now Martin Luther King, Jr. Performing and Cultural Arts Complex

Samuel Plato

Listed on the National Register of Historical Places, this building was originally erected as a lodge and theater for members of the African American community living in the Mount Vernon Avenue area (a center for African American life in the Columbus). It is the only building in Columbus known to be designed by the African American architect Samuel Plato, of Louisville, Kentucky. Plato designed more than forty post offices as well as residences, churches, offices, college buildings, and apartment houses.
This brick Colonial Revival building has a strong sense of horizontality with a distinct base in stone and marble, a somewhat top-heavy fourth register (more decorated than the lower registers), and a "blind" balustraded top with decorative urns. Engaged pilasters, arched transoms topped with stone lintels and obvious keystones, and string courses isolate this register from those below. The building is asymmetric, with one bay to the left a seeming addition.
After two multi-million dollar renovation projects, the King Arts Complex (with large additions to the right of this structure) provides performing, cultural, and educational programs.

See African American Index for additional works by Plato.

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© 2003 Mary Ann Sullivan. I have photographed (on site), scanned, and manipulated all the images on these pages. Please feel free to use them for personal or educational purposes. They are not available for commercial purposes.

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