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NEW ORLEANS — A historic downtown building is back in business.

The Pythian Building at 234 Loyola Ave. re-opened after 15 years of sitting unused.

It was known as the Pythian Temple in the early 1900s and played an important part in the African-American business community. The Pythian, an eight-story building, was constructed in 1908 under the direction of S.W. Green, a prominent businessman and leader of the Grand Lodge Colored Knights of Pythias, a black fraternal organization.

It served as a gathering place for people of different races to enjoy jazz and theater.

The newly restored building will have retail and shared office space, a public market, a restaurant and 69 apartments.