Flashback Friday - The Grand & The Pinnacle

Host Your Event in Historic Odd Fellows Hall!

Two of our ballrooms, The Grand and The Pinnacle, are housed at historic Odd Fellows Hall in Covington, KY just south of Cincinnati, OH. We are thrilled to be a part of the building’s storied past and offer its space for events in a unique setting! Now over 161 years old, the Odd Fellows Hall has quite an interesting history for the city of Covington.

Built in 1856, the building was constructed and named by the Independent Order of Odd Fellows for $45,000, a civic group that held meetings there until 1923. The building also served as the first home for the First National Bank of Covington. The cornerstone was unveiled and moved during renovations in 1904. Above are pictures of the signatures of designers and architects on the cornerstone of Odd Fellows Hall.

What made the building noteworthy at the time it was constructed were the trusses: an architectural design that allowed for large, open spaces on the second and third floors without pillars to support the ceiling. These tresses were a system of support cables closely mirroring the same structure used in the building of the Roebling Suspension Bridge. This leads historians to believe that John Roebling assisted in the design of the building. After all, Roebling was a very close friend of Amos Shrinkle, a Covington banker, philanthropist, and then grand master of the Kentucky Grand Lodge of Odd Fellows. Those open spaces are still enjoyed by thousands of our clients and their guests at corporate receptions, nonprofit events, and wedding receptions.

These spaces weren’t always places of joy or celebration. During the Civil War, the basement of Odd Fellows Hall served as a penitentiary for Confederate prisoners of war. The prisoner’s graffiti and engravings on the walls of the basement were still fresh when a victory reception was held on the upper floors of the Hall for General Ulysses S. Grant. In 1900, Governor William Goebel was assassinated while in office. His body was laid out in Odd Fellows Hall, where a reported 10,000 citizens filed past to pay their respects.

During Prohibition in the 1920’s and 1930’s, the building was used for theatrical performances and boxing matches. Banked seating was added to surround the ring. In the 1940’s, the second floor was turned into the Covington Rolling Rink: a popular skating rink—which remained through the 1958.

In 2002, there was a horrific fire in Odd Fellows Hall that all but burned the building to the ground. The blaze was battled by four fire departments and over 70 firefighters. All was a loss (including the messages from the Civil War prisoners) except for the front façade. Looking at the picture below, it is nearly unbelievable that the building was restored into the grand, historic building you see today!

Today, instead of a skating rink, the second floor now hosts The Grand. It features a grand staircase, exactly as it was originally built. We also have a balcony that overlooks the ballroom and gorgeous two-story windows. It is an event venue of timeless elegance.

The Pinnacle is now housed on the fifth floor. A breath-taking ballroom is surrounded by 26-foot knotty pine ceilings with skylights. The 25-foot round dancefloor is surrounded by a circular bar and urban-chic décor; a far cry from anything the original builders could have ever imagined!

Add your event to the story of Odd Fellows Hall! Contact one of our event specialists today.

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With multiple exquisite venues in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, a reputation for providing delectable cuisine and unparalleled service, and more than 50 years experience in the food and catering industry, the future of McHale’s Events and Catering is unlimited.

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   contact (@) mchalescatering.com
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  (859) 291-9663
1622 Dixie Hwy
Park Hills, KY 41011

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