Knights of Pythias Hall (c. 1903)
302 North Esplanade, Cuero, DeWitt Co.
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark, National Register of Historic Places, National Register District
Owner: Chisholm Trail Heritage Museum | Architect: Fisher Heck Architects
Original Designer/Architect: James Wahrenberger
For Cuero, Texas, a community of 7,004 citizens, the Knights of Pythias Hall with its fanciful brickwork and 10,000 square feet of space represents a glorious past and a promising future. Built in 1903 by James Wahrenburger, the Hall was was acquired in 2002 by the Chisholm Trail Heritage Museum with the intent on transforming the building into exhibit space and meeting rooms.
Work began by stabilizing the building’s outer shell and restoring the two primary facades. Brick details were replicated using historic photographs and nearly 100 years of paint was removed from the front. This phase also included the restoration of all original wood windows. The original copper Knights of Pythias emblem was replicated and placed in the central arch on the parapet wall.
On the interior, community rooms were worked into existing spaces and each room was handsomely restored. The centerpiece is the museum exhibit space on the first floor. To quote Cuero’s mayor, Sara Post Meyer, “The citizens of Cuero watched in wonder as the rehabilitation of the [Hall] unfolded. Other property owners in the downtown district caught the ‘restoration fever’ as four other properties were restored rather than go to wreck and ruin including a beautiful historic home adjacent to the [Museum]… Not only have the citizens of Cuero witnessed the restoration of this historic building, but also have seen that ‘This Place Matters’ as people use the building daily.”