Apartments honored for long-standing service

Saturday, March 8, 2008 | 4:25 p.m. CST; updated 5:57 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

COLUMBIA — The Beverly and Belvedere apartments have been through the Great Depression, housed an Olympic athlete and have been home to current and past students and faculty of MU.

1932 Olympic track athlete, medal winner and MU graduate Babe Didrikson Zaharias once lived in the Beverly and Mayor Darwin Hindman lived in the Belvedere.

In January, the Belvedere and the Beverly apartments were recognized as two of the 10 Most Notable Historic Properties in Columbia for 2008.

Both properties are currently managed by Joe and Linda Doles, who took over in 1999 when the previous owners, Linda’s parents, Jack and Evelyn Richardson, were considering selling the apartments. The Richardsons owned the properties through CORI Investments Incorporated since 1969.

Both Linda and Joe attended MU and moved to Ohio after getting married in 1986. Neither Joe nor Linda had managed apartments before taking over the Belvedere, Beverly, Dumas and Francis apartments. Joe and Linda moved back to Columbia after receiving the offer to run the buildings, leaving behind past careers to begin anew. Joe was previously a physicist and Linda worked as a physician and then a real estate agent.

The property for the apartments was originally purchased from Columbia College in 1927 by the newly formed Beverly Realty Company and the apartments were built within six months of each other. Both were built with many similar features and primarily served students and young professionals.

The Belvedere, which is located on 206 Hitt St., is larger than the Beverly, which is located across the street at 211 Hitt St. The Belvedere has three floors consisting of 30 studio, small and large one-bedroom apartments. The largest of the studio apartments is 300 square feet. The Beverly has three floors made up of 26 large and small studios, including two apartments in the basement.

Both buildings have stucco walls and wrought-iron trim work in the main lobby as well as louvered doors and Murphy beds that pull down from the wall. In both buildings, small doors connect the kitchen to the hallway, which allowed ice to be delivered to ice boxes without entrance into the apartment. The ice doors remain today.

Both Joe and Linda said they have enjoyed running the properties and have spent time making renovations, including replacing plastic-tiled showers that were built in the 1970s. Linda said she wishes that there were more time to renovate the buildings.

“I like doing the renovations and Linda likes the cosmetics,” Joe Doles said. “We are a good team; she covers my weaknesses and I cover hers.”

All of the apartments still have the original Murphy beds and gate-leg tables that were designed to create more space for tenants of the apartments. The original sinks with separate hot and cold water faucets remain, and some of the original stoves and ovens are still functional.

Although MU faculty occasionally live in the two buildings, students have made up most of the population of tenants for the last 30 years, Joe Doles said. Most of the current residents are undergraduate students who stay around for about two years.

“A lot of students that we are getting now say that their parents lived here,” Joe Doles said.

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