As the state of Texas reopens amid the COVID-19 crisis, travelers will have a vibrant new option in the buzzy Deep Ellum neighborhood.

By Hayden Walker
Updated August 08, 2020
Advertisement
View of a newly built archway in Radiator Alley in the Deep Ellum section of Dallas, Texas, a block away from The Kimpton Pittman Hotel. The rejuvenated neighborhood is known for shops, restaurants, live music, a vibrant local arts scene, and nightlife.
Mariah Tyler

Editor's Note: Travel might be complicated right now, but use our inspirational trip ideas to plan ahead for your next bucket list adventure.

The Kimpton Pittman Hotel is slated to open to guests this summer as the luxury hotel brand’s first outpost in Dallas. It will be part of The Epic, a major mixed-use project under development in the Deep Ellum neighborhood. A famed destination for blues and jazz musicians in the 1920s, Deep Ellum has since become a destination for progressive culture and creativity, with iconic outdoor art, a thriving nightlife scene, chef-driven restaurants, and eclectic shops.

The Epic will include a new office tower and residential high-rise, but it’s the Pittman that’s probably the most interesting part of the project — and not just for travelers headed to Dallas. The new Kimpton property will be set in the historic Knights of Pythias Temple, breathing new life into one of the city’s historic landmarks.

The exterior of the Knights of Pythias in Dallas, Texas. The building once served as a cultural hub for the Black community in the city, though it sat empty for the past two decades.
Mariah Tyler

Originally constructed in 1916, the temple was designed by William Sidney Pittman, an African-American architect known for designing monumental buildings, including one at the Tercentennial Exposition held in 1907 in Virginia. The Knights of Pythias building was, between the World Wars, “the social, professional, and cultural center of the city's African-American community,” according to the City of Dallas Office of Historic Preservation. “The temple hosted lectures, meetings, conventions, and dances, as well as housed the offices of African-American professionals in the area.”

Left: Architect William Sidney Pittman in 1916. Right: The original exterior of the Knights of Pythias Temple in Dallas, Texas.
Public Domain via  The Crisis, Vol 12 No 5, August 1916; Courtesy of the George W. Cook, DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University

Today, after about two decades of vacancy, the structure’s reemergence is being overseen by the architecture firm Perkins+Will. Their efforts have focused on preserving the building's original architecture, while adding sleek and modern updates that reference local artists and musicians.

A guest room at The Kimpton Pittman Hotel in Dallas, Texas.
Courtesy of Kimpton Hotels

The 165-room property will also have meeting spaces and a renovated fourth-floor grand ballroom available for events, conferences, and weddings. Typical Kimpton amenities — a 24-hour gym, loaner bikes, in-room yoga mats, an evening happy hour in the lobby — are all here, along with an outdoor pool and bar.

Local “Top Chef” and Kimpton Hotels alum Graham Dodds will be executive chef for the hotel’s modern farm-to-table restaurant, Elm + Good, which will do seasonal American cuisine, along with local craft beer and inventive cocktails. They’ll have an expansive outdoor patio.

Courtesy of Kimpton Hotels

“The Kimpton Pittman Hotel is the first hotel to open in Deep Ellum, which is, really, one of the best neighborhoods in Dallas,” a hotel spokesperson tells Travel + Leisure.

Left: A Radiator Alley mural depicting legendary jazz musicians Freddie King, Blind Lemon Jefferson, and T-Bone Walker, who once played in the Dallas neighborhood. Right: A mural for Black Lives Matter seen in Deep Ellum on July 23.
Mariah Tyler

The hotel is on track to open in August, a rep says, and it will be Kimpton’s second hotel in Texas, joining the Hotel Van Zandt in Austin. A third hotel from the brand, which is owned by InterContinental Hotels Group, is slated for Houston at the end of 2022. Rates at the Pittman start at $300 a night.