Odd Fellows Hall
Location: 440 Madison Ave Covington, KY 41011 Navigate to Location
The Odd Fellows Hall in Covington, Kentucky is located at the northeast corner of Fifth Street and Madison Avenue. It was constructed in 1856 by the Independent Order of Odd Fellows Lodge, and was the center of Covington’s civic and political life in the late 19th century.
During the American Civil War, Confederate Prisoners of War were housed in the basement of the Hall. When the Civil War ended, victorious Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant was honored with a reception there.
In 1896, due to the public’s dislike of his stewardship of U.S. currency, one of the most influential Kentucky statesman of his generation, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, John G. Carlisle, was forced to leave the stage in the middle of a speech due to a barrage of rotten eggs.
In 1900, the body of William Goebel, the only U.S. governor to be assassinated in office, lay in state there, as an estimated 10,000 people filed past.
In the 1950s, a roller skating rink filled the second-floor ballroom, famous for its 25-foot (7.6 m)-high ceiling suspended by a truss system. The hall also held theatrical productions and vaudeville shows, and served as the city of Covington’s first subscription library. Over the years, it’s mammoth size became home to restaurants, bars, retail shops, strip clubs, and liquor stores.
In May 2002, a major fire almost destroyed the entire building. It was reduced to its front facade, back wall, and a three-story column of smoke and charred debris. A new team has restored the hall, with its first tenant taking occupancy in March 2006.