The expression, “Were you raised in a barn?” takes on new meaning for the patients at Hunterdon Hills Animal Hospital in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey. No, the patients weren’t raised in a barn, but they are treated in a barn.
Dr. Charles Westfield always wanted to incorporate a barn into his practice design. When he bought an outdated building eight years ago to house his practice, it was in great need of repair. Soon after, the plan started taking shape. He originally planned to revamp the building and attach a barn structure to the side. That dream, like many, was bigger than even he had imagined.
“I wanted clients to have the feeling of being transported back in time to the 1800s in the waiting room, transitioning to the Victorian age on their way into the exam rooms, and then be in the Starship Enterprise in the new high-tech part of the hospital itself,” he says.
Living in a township known for Dutch settlers and working farms, Dr. Westfield’s idea fit perfectly. “How could the zoning board say no when what I proposed went right to the heart of what our town is all about?” he asks.
The result is an authentic barn reception area, a silo library and conference center, and a high-tech medical facility built in a replica milk-barn.
“Hold on to your passion and vision,” says Dr. Westfield. “Some people will try to talk you out of doing your project. Be a true entrepreneur and be patient. I wasn’t going to do this building project half-baked. I was 100 percent behind it and found architects and builders who were too.”
Click here for a photo tour of Hunterdon Hills Animal Hospital.