Dumas Apartment buildings house students since 1915

The Dumas buildings have been home to many students, including an Olympic athlete.
The Dumas apartment building in 1915 in Columbia, Missouri (top), compared to the Dumas apartment building in 2018. Courtesy of Dumas apartment & Photo by Photographer Catherine Davis

The Dumas Apartments are some of the oldest off-campus housing options for MU students, some of which are over 100 years old.

Dumas Apartments has four buildings: Dumas, Belvedere, Beverly and Frances. The Dumas building itself was built in 1915. The original owner, the Beverly Realty Company, purchased the property for the Belvedere and Beverly buildings from Columbia College in 1927. Belvedere and Beverly were built in 1928, within six months of each other, and the Frances building was built in the 1950s, according to the Dumas website.

“There’s a certain amount of character that goes with a building that old,” Linda Doles, assistant manager for Dumas Apartments, said. “It’s also an old building, so you have to like the ambiance to put up with some of the things that happen with old buildings.”

Beverly has housed a 1932 Olympic athlete, Babe Didrikson Zaharias, and Belvedere was home to former Columbia Mayor Darwin Hindman.

Dumas Apartments was formed by cousins Roy Cox and Jack Richardson when they were looking for investments after they returned from World War II. They both decided to invest in real estate and later they formed what has now become the Dumas Apartments, according to the Dumas website.

In addition to serving as the oldest off-campus housing for MU students, Dumas Apartments buildings have been historic properties in Columbia. In 2008, Belvedere and Beverly apartments were recognized as two of the 10 most Notable Historic Properties in Columbia, according to reporting done by the Columbia Missourian.

Linda Doles and her husband Joe Doles began helping Linda’s father with the apartments in 1999, and they both took over as managers in 2002.

The Dumas building is located at 413 Hitt Street, between MU’s campus and downtown Columbia. Belvedere is located at 206 Hitt Street, Beverly is located at 211 Hitt Street and Frances is located at 603 Old Highway 63.

Linda Doles believes that there are some students who can adjust to living in an older building. She also said she believes that students choose Dumas because of its location and price.

“There are some students who grew up in an older house and they know [what it’s like],” Linda said. “For people who come from Brookside and have lived in new, expensive housing, when they come to us, sometimes we don’t meet their expectations.”

She also said she believes that these apartments will help students adapt to living independently.

“People like [the Dumas Apartments] because we leave them alone and they are autonomous,” Linda said. “If you are out on your own for the first time, you are really getting the feel of what it’s like to be out on your own.”

One of the old features of these buildings is the steam radiator heating system. Sometimes in the winter, it will get vapor locked, meaning that cold air gets trapped in the radiator. When this happens, the apartments can get too cold because the warm air is prevented from entering. To solve this problem, the cold air has to be pushed out so the hot steam can get inside.

Junior Pate Richardson has been living in Dumas since August and she said she loves the charm of the old building, despite the challenges of living.

“[Dumas] is a really authentic living space,” Richardson said. “It’s a little eclectic and it has a very homey feel, which I like a lot. It reminds me of my childhood, especially during the holidays. It just really feels like home…I just feel close to the heart of campus.”

Edited by Morgan Smith | mosmith@themaneater.com

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