Hot Rod Orthodontic Office
Well, after a three year pregnancy, here it finally is. I have posted
odds and ends of my new office here and there on the board, but I have
had several requests to do a separate post on it once it was all done.
So, for what it's worth, here is our new hot rod orthodontic office.
Being the 50's/60's car nut I am, I also get a kick out of the
architecture and just the whole look of the time as well. Not wanting to
build your average taupe brick building, I wanted something that had
more the look of a 50's era diner/drive-in/gas station sorta thing. I
talked with the architect about that and I think they jumped inside my
head and knocked it out of the park.
I had the vision of the inside being a bit of a city inside with the
outside of the rooms having facades of different 50's buildings you
would think of when you think 50's....soda fountain, burger joint, gas
station, etc. It took a fair amount of back and forth with the interior
folks to get that sort of thing meshed with the stuff you gotta have for
an orthodontic office. But, eventually, I think we got there.
Stepping in the front door, you are greeted with the woodie wagon
front desk parked in front of a Big Boy (although I still have to finish
the signage for that).
The front desk started as a rusty $100 '47 Merc coupe. Yes, a Merc...with
a 46 Ford grille. The Merc grille parts were not easily obtainable,
where the Ford parts are. Getting that Ford grille to fit the Merc....not
a bolt in job. The
front clip and rear fender are off the car while the "woodie" part is
cabinetry made to look the part. The "roof" has the planked headliner
look of the woodie and is complete with vinyl top and surfboard. You get
funny looks pulling up to a surf shop with your wife and kids while on
vacation and buy a board blank. To the surfer dude, you do not look like
a guy who knows what on earth to do with a surf blank. But, I did and
carved it down, glassed it and got it painted, then proceeded to cut
holes in it to run the mounts through.....I couldn't bring myself to do
that to a vintage long board, so you build your own for the purpose.
Most everything here has a story and a fair amount of my childhood is
in here. The Big Boy out front was my favorite restaurant my folks took
us to when I was a kid. Next up is our new patient exam room with a soda
fountain facade. Named Fairmont's, it is the soda fountain my grandpa
used to take me to. This pic was taken before the rest of the signage
was put on the frosted windows and door, but you get the idea. Inside,
we gotta have the spinning fountain chairs in red Zodiac vinyl. Also
have the aluminum banded counter tops (all the counter tops in the whole
office are banded and in cool Formica).
Heading on back to the main treatment area, we have lots going on, so
here is the big picture before we go around. On the far side, we have the movie theater tooth brushing area. We
put the kids names up on one side of the marquee when they come in for
the first time welcoming them to the office. On the side facing the
treatment area, we put up the kids names when they get their braces off
as the "feature movie." They get a kick out of it and often take
pictures with their name in lights. I had someone stop me one day and
ask me if I had a movie theater in my office. I told them I sorta did
and they said they saw it on Facebook with someone getting their braces
off. Guess the pics get around. LOL The lit movie poster marquee in the
back ground has a 1950's sci-fi, b-movie poster of giant plaque eating
the quiet little tooth town that the awesomely creative graphic guys I
use did for me.
What really started this whole design concept in the first place was
the staff asking if the new office could have some seating areas in the
treatment area for parents and friends that often come with the
patients. Being a car guy, I couldn't have just any seating area, I need
couches made out of the back ends of cars, right? So, get me some parts
cars, a tape measure and start cuttin'. All the car furniture you see
was built by my dad and myself. Not really being able to come up with
good information on how anyone else had done it, we just pretty much
went on the fly and figured it out as we went. Even jumped in to figure
out the upholstery myself. I figured I had read enough books and watched
enough upholsterers over the years, how hard could it be? Fortunately, I
have an aunt who is a professional upholsterer, so she was handy to have
on the phone when kinks came up.
'59 Caddy. Yup, that's real fur on cow hide. Cows 'n Caddy's just go,
Gotta have a gas station, right? Well, mine is
Sinclair. When I was a kid, there was a Sinclair station near my
grandparent's house, so I knew I was almost to grandma's when I saw that
great big dinosaur. I have spent most of my life hunting one down and
finally came across one of the smaller ones. This particular one is
actually a fiberglass copy and has spent the last couple of years in my
kid's play area where they climbed all over it and played on it while
the office was being built. They were most upset when the time came to
move it to its new home, but I was blessed to find an aluminum original
at the same time to take its place. Whew!
My private office looks out onto the main treatment area and left a
spot next to the Sinclair station that would make a perfect garage door
space. Rather than make it a service bay, I thought doing it up as Larry
Watson's shop would be cool. My dad's first in 57 was a mild custom 51
Merc, which certainly had a big influence on me. Another was getting the
Grease Machines book for Christmas when I was in Jr high. That book, if
you've never seen it, is loaded with Larry Watson paint jobs, as well as
a spread on his Grapevine and panel painted '59 Caddy. I've had this
sickness bad ever since. So, in tribute to Larry (I finally got a Merc
in tribute to my dad...fortunately he is still here to enjoy it with
me), I built his shop and his Caddy for a desk looking out the shop bay.
With the help of Rik Hoving, I got a picture of Larry's shops (the blue
diamonds are actually from a later shop) and projected them on the wall
for templates then proceeded to paint and hand letter it all. I'm not
going to take lettering up for a living!
The Caddy desk was finally reassembled last week and still has some
details that need done....cabinet doors, paint some bare wood black,
etc., but it's pretty much there. I wish I had some better pics of it,
but it's mucho heavy and has to be assembled in place and can't be moved
back from the wall to take some good pictures all the way around. Also,
the candy and pearl white looks great outside, but alas, it will never
be outside. The sun shines through my office window and hits it in the
mornings, though, so I get to see it "right" occasionally.
Something like this does not come off with just one guy. I really got
to thank some folks who without their help and input this would not have
happened. First is my wife, certainly,. She has been very patient and
indulgent and most helpful with ideas. My dad who is the reason I am a
car nut and who helped figure this crazy furniture mess out. I had a
great building crew who at first doubted a Dr. really knew anything
about building anything, much less something they hadn't seen done
before. They gave me a lot of rope. Toadfrog is one of the body shop
instructors at the local high school. He got the kids to help with
body work when I got in a time crunch, spray some primer and he sprayed
the color on the front desk and the paint on the Watson desk. I am a
for more pictures, stories, etc.