Pin It

Our Office, Scaled Down: Mark Alvarado on how he reconstructed our building 

Our building. For ants.

One day, about a year ago, a guy walked into our office and asked if he could build a to-scale model of our building. This isn't the beginning to a bad joke, this actually happened and the guy said the model would include all the colors, details, cracks, graffiti and everything else about this 100-plus-year-old structure. We agreed to his proposal, even if there were some apprehensions that he was actually just trying to gain access to the building to search for our cache of gold doubloons.

The man was Mark Alvarado and you can see the model he built of the Source

headquarters on the cover of this week's issue. It doesn't include the scaffolding and "sidewalk closed" signs you'll find now, thanks to an ongoing remodel, but the final product is a shockingly accurate portrayal of this historic building... even down to the stickers in the window and the spray-painted alien on one of our walls.

Alvarado is an eighth-grade teacher in Sunriver, but he also has been creating these sorts of models since 2005 when he designed for Pronghorn resort. He's currently working on expanding his portfolio and there was something about the Source building that caught his eye, which is why he offered to drop more than 100 hours of his time into crafting the model you see on this page.

And when he said he'd make an "exact model" he meant it, taking scores of photos that he used to make sure that every brick was depicted accurately. You read that correctly - every brick.

"I really had to truly focus on detail. If I felt myself cutting a corner, I made myself stop and redo it," said Alvarado, whose wife, Christine, had her own hand-crafted dolls featured on a cover of the Source a few years back.

He even went as far as to check Google Earth to ensure that he was getting our roof correct and spent a significant amount of time stretching his measuring tape throughout the interior and exterior of the building to give himself the scale of the building. For materials, he used hobby foam, basswood and ceramic paints and if you were wondering, no, this was not easy.

"This was a justification for me to prove to myself that I could do this," said Alvarado.

For his next project, Alvarado is scoping out other buildings in town, but isn't sure exactly what he'll choose to replicate. But if you need his services, you can contact him at


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Latest in Upfront

More by Source Weekly

  • Picks 10/12-10/19

    • Oct 12, 2016

    We recently visited Bend for the Film Festival and very much enjoyed ourselves, with one small exception. We parked our Ford in the public parking structure, only to find when we returned on Friday night that it had been spat upon, apparently in retribution for our Obama 2012 bumper sticker. I understand that whoever did this was passionate about politics, something I have always shared.
    • Nov 7, 2012

    After living in Bend for a year and a half, I recently stopped through on business. I love the town, the people, and all the outdoor beauty the area offers. One of my favorite things about Bend is without question, The Source. From the first time I read it, I knew it would be a cover-to-cover great time for me to enjoy all the stories, community news, the updates on all the music and arts, presentations, and great things goings on around town.
    • Nov 7, 2012
  • More »

© 2017 LAY IT OUT INC | 704 NW GEORGIA, BEND, OREGON 97703  |   Privacy Policy

Website powered by Foundation