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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


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