COVINGTON, Ky. — John R. Coppin had humble but ambitious aspirations when he opened in 1873 his own dry goods store, the California Dry Goods Co., at what is now the corner of Seventh Street and Madison Avenue.
As his business — and his entrepreneurial spirit — grew, Coppin eventually relocated before, in 1907, he realized even his four-story storefront wasn’t big enough to accommodate his needs.
That’s when he commissioned what would become a first for the commonwealth, a seven-story “skyscraper,” as a building that size was considered at the time. In 1910, after a name change to the John R. Coppin Co., the business had transformed from a humble dry goods storefront to the region’s largest high-end department store. It would maintain that status for decades to come, long after Coppin’s death just three years after the building’s completion.
Now, the building that rivals any other in the city for its historical significance will return to Coppin’s tradition of luxury as a boutique hotel and restaurant, opening Tuesday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony scheduled for 11 a.m., followed by guided tours.
After a year-long renovation process that included gutting the building while painstakingly preserving its shell, the hotel boasts 114 rooms, including suites and what they refer to as “Anything But Standard” rooms — that now occupy more than a century of Covington history.