Who would have thought that a 130 year-old Barn would be an ideal place for a pleasant dental visit?
Tooth Acres was first known as the Busche Homestead. It was built in 1885 on the land that Ernest Busche was given in exchange for his work on the Erie canal. The homestead was a working farm for 90 years. Cows grazed in the woods on the other side of the creek and slept in the barn basement, pigs, horses, chickens all had their place here. In 1962 Mr. Busche retired by hanging his coat on a nail in the basement and walking out of the barn. 30 years later, Dr. Gary Painter found his coat, still on the nail, as he renovated the barn into a one of a kind dental office.
Dr. Painter hired architect Chris Kennedy early in the design process. After interviewing Dr. Painter, Chris found that the doctor’s best memories were those of playing basketball as a kid in the barn loft of his family’s farm. When Chris suggested that the new dental office should be located in a barn, Dr. Painter laughed at him. After thinking about his architect’s suggestion, the doctor thought it was a fantastic idea.
At that time, the Busche family was looking to sell their barn to someone who would preserve it, and they found a good match in Dr. Painter. The architect then designed what has to be one of the country’s most interesting, unique, and enjoyable dental offices within the heavy timber framework of the Busche barn.
Mervin Hilty’s Amish construction crew was hired to build the architect’s design. Despite their extensive experience and excellent craftsmanship, they had never run into as many strange wall angles, sloped ceilings, different materials, and general challenges as the barn presented them. But, as the pictures show, they were successful in constructing a very special and unique place.
The process of converting the barn took just over a year to complete. It was opened as a fully functioning dental office in 2000.