This decorative glazed tile is a fragment from the National Pythian Temple, which was designed by Walter T. Bailey and located at 3621 South State Street. It was completed in 1928.
The tile depicts a fantastical griffin, a winged hybrid creature that represents an ancient symbol of strength.
Walter T. Bailey was an important figure in Chicago's African American and architectural communities. Educated at the University of Illinois, he was the first African American to graduate from the architecture program in 1904, and later the first to hold an architecture license in the state of Illinois. He taught at the Tuskegee Institute from 1904-14 before beginning private design work. His largest commission was the National Pythian Temple in Chicago, completed in 1928. The temple housed the national headquarters of the black fraternal order Knights of Pythias.