Downtown Joplin’s “Olivia Apartment Building” suffered from a fire but was able to be recovered


JOPLIN, MO – A fire wreaked havoc on a piece of downtown Joplin’s history late last year.

But work inside the “Olivia Apartment Building” was able to begin within days to save it. 6 months after that fire, more progress.

Nearly 6 months ago, one of the most historic structures in downtown Joplin, the Olivia Apartment Building, suffered a major fire.

But thanks largely to how well it was constructed in the first place, efforts to return it to its original elegance continue.

Carolina Neal says she was amazed with how good a condition the building was in just days after the fire.

“These buildings were built to last centuries, not just like a hundred years like they already have, but more than that, and so I am really surprised, in December I was really sad because I thought we were just losing this building.” Says Carolina Neal, Owner, Neal Group Construction.

“Wasn’t near as bad as I thought it was going to be, especially with the fire and the amount of water they had to put on it, um overall, just the structural integrity, I’ve been impressed with it, I mean you wouldn’t get this today.” Says Ryan Lassiter, Neal Group Construction.

Talk about your dream internships, Analysia Carrillo will get to see it come back to prominence.

“I love sustainability, and coming to a construction company like this is an amazing opportunity to see these old buildings be rebuilt and give it a new life.” Says Analysia Carrillo, PSU Interior Design Intern.

The company worked closely with local suppliers to come up with enough wood and steel to build the new roof, in the midst of supply chain problems.

Neal also says they plan on salvaging as much of the “Olivia’s” interior as possible.

“Right now, the owners decide to continue the project, we were planning on stopping for a while and then continue the project and them, but they decided to go ahead and finish the project, and architect we are cleaning up the floors, continuing with demolition and architects are working on the plans of the apartments that are going to be part of this building.” Says Neal.

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