Owner: Dr. Leon L. DuBoisDate of Construction: 1925Historical Address: 535 SW YamhillCost of Construction: $100,000
Chapman Court Apartments, formerly The Mardu Apartments; serve as a classic example of urban street car era apartment building constructed
during Portland's boom period of the 1920's.
Local dentist and capitalist L.L. DuBois underwrote construction costs of the
handsome concrete building, which cost $100,000 to complete in 1925. The one quarter block building site L.L. DuBois purchased
was tucked in between the thriving downtown Portland business district and the more prestigious residential districts of Kings
Hill and Nob Hill areas of Northwest/Southwest Portland. Dr. DuBois chose this area because the site was located on the edge
of the prosperous downtown business district with reasonably priced building sites still available for development. It was
also located close to the streetcar lines which linked downtown Portland with it's sprawling urban neighborhoods.
Apartment building was one of many apartment buildings undergoing construction in the 1920's. Most of these apartment buildings
constructed-during Portland's boom period repeat the same features; occupying 1/2 block or less, three or more stories in
height, U-shaped floor plan with it's main entrance centrally located between two flanking wings. The buildings featured apartments
that ranged in size from one to five rooms.
The Mardu Apartments provided a niche for
newly landed city dwellers that wished to be centrally located but did not want to purchase single-family housing. The 39
units in the building were designed to serve as two room efficiency units which featured modern amenities such as hot and
cold water, electric lights, separate kitchens and bathrooms, and, most importantly, privacy.
The name Mardu was created out of two words. Margaret, which was the name of Dr. L.L. DuBois' first wife and
"Du" taken from the name DuBois. Dr.
Leon L. DuBois (1878-1971) was born in Oxford Junction, Iowa on March 28th, 1878. He graduated from the Northwest University
School of Dentistry in Chicago, Illinois in 1904. In 1909 he moved to Portland and opened his dental practice in downtown
Portland, four years after the successful Lewis and Clark Exposition. In 1913 the DuBois family moved into their newly constructed
home located in the Mt. Tabor district. Dr L.L. DuBois finally retired from his practice, which was located in the Morgan
Building in downtown Portland in 1945.