The Hope building was constructed between 1833-1844
CVDL is a proud member of Jefferson City’s beautiful downtown. Since the early 1980s, the firm has occupied one of Jefferson City’s oldest historic landmarks located at the corner of High and Madison, sometimes referred to as the Hope Mercantile Building (Hope Building). A brief history of the building appears below.
B. Bruns & Co. occupied the building at East High and Madison streets in the mid-1800s.
1833-1844: Initial Construction
The corner location for the Hope Building was originally acquired in 1825 for $125 by a Hardin Casey and used for a horse-drawn grist mill. According to the Cole County Historical Society, the Hope Building was constructed between 1833 and 1843. Its brick structure with side-gabled roofs reflects a heavy Germanic influence. At the time it was completed, Missouri had had only three governors. When the first Missouri state capitol in Jefferson City burned in 1837 and was replaced by the second capitol in 1840, the building was there.
1844: General Store, Saloon, and Gambling House
In 1844, part of the building was occupied by a general merchandise store run by the Obermayer family consisting of three brothers Simon, Morris and Joseph. The Obermayer business was one of the first few general stores in Jefferson City. On the second floor was a saloon and gambling house with billiard and pool tables and rooms for keno, lotto, roulette, poker and faro. Hot lunches and coffee were prepared on the third floor.
1854-1895: The Bruns Family Mercantile Business
In the spring of 1854, part of the building was purchased by Dr. Bernard Bruns. Bruns had immigrated from Germany in 1836 and helped establish the town of Westphalia. Bruns continued to practice medicine, and he and his brother, Franz, ran a thriving mercantile business dealing in hides, furs, clothing, tailoring, furnishing goods, groceries and toys that operated until 1895. Bruns was elected Mayor of Jefferson City and had a large home and boarding house where the present post office is located across from the Capitol Building.
1899-1940s: The Hope Family Tailoring Shop
The Obermayers sold to tailor George Hope Sr. in 1899 after a plan for First National Bank to build its headquarters there fell through. The Hope family came to Jefferson City in 1872, emigrating from Edinburgh, Scotland. Members of the Hope family had been operating a tailoring shop in the building since 1880 and continued this business in this location until the late 1940s.
Dozens of different tenants occupied the building’s double space between 1899 and 1949, including Western Union, a barber shop, architects and a shoe store.
1919-1949: Tolson’s Drug Store
From about 1919 to 1949, Tolson’s Drug Store operated
in part of the Hope Building and had a traditional soda fountain and a balcony for serving food. This was a popular gathering place for young people.
1949-1969: Mavrakos Candy Shop
Between approximately 1949 and 1969, portions of the building were occupied by the Mavrakos Candy Shop, which leased the location from the Hope Family. In
1970, the Hope family sold the property to the Optical Corporation of America.
Cole County Historical Society credits Dan Claxton with this photo from the 1890s of the building with a circus coming through town.
Mavrakos Candy Shop occupied portions of the building from 1949-1969. Photo Credit: Missouri State Archives, c 1960.
The building fell into disrepair during the 1970s. In 1980, five civic minded parties purchased the building and performed a total restoration and remodeling. They were David and Lou Brydon, Dick and Marianne Caplinger, Joseph Noonan, David Bryant, and Ron Kaiser.
CVDL initially occupied the second floor of the building following the 1982 renovations. Central Bank and other tenants leased other portions of the building.
Eventually, as CVDL grew, its partners Dale Doerhoff and John Landwehr acquired the building. In 2004, CVDL renovated all four floors for the firm’s operations. When John served on the City Council and as Mayor of Jefferson City, he supported many civic betterment projects, including those designed to support downtown’s pedestrian friendly business zone.
CVDL’s continued proud membership in Jefferson City’s Historic Downtown. In 2018, Rand McNally honored Jefferson City with the title of American’s Most Beautiful Small Town.
CVDL takes pride in its prominent historic location in downtown Jefferson City and in being a member of Downtown Jefferson City.