Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

These Walls: Tulsa's Pediatric Dental Group

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

These Walls: Tulsa's Pediatric Dental Group

Article excerpt

To newcomers, Tulsa dentist Charles Keithline can come across as both warm and serious, a patient man devoted to a cause.

But somewhere inside him must rest a playful genius.

How else can you explain the exuberantly colorful theme park that is Pediatric Dental Group, 602 S. Utica Ave.?

"One of our patients called it delicious," said Charles' wife, Nancy, chuckling during a tour of the facility.

Shane Hansen Fernandez led the McFarland Davies Architects team credited for this design, a two-story showpiece featuring an iconic three-story glass well entryway, curved window wall, 24 geothermal wells, Freon-based cooling systems, sun-following windows and several other modern architecture features.

But certainly Dr. Seuss, Tex Avery or Chuck Jones must have joined in plotting that explosion of colors and textures that tease the eyes nearly every step through Pediatric Dental Group, from the entryway carpets and almost florescent walls, chairs and tables to the ever-present computers and high-definition screens displaying both charts and movies.

The result comes across as a 9,000-square-foot excerpt from Toontown, spurring both joyous laughter and warm appreciation from a region of north Tulsa crying out for redevelopment.

"It's very cheerful, especially looking in from the outside," said Nancy. "It's exciting to the kids. They want to come here. A lot of our patients that are brand-new, their parents tell me that this is the first time that their children actually wanted to come to the dentists."

Opened in October 2009, the $2.7 million structure also houses two other Keithline businesses, Utica Imaging and Pearl District Dentistry. But Pediatric Dental Group dominates both with its physical presence and imagery. Sitting on a former Brownfield site, the finished project won Cowen Construction a 2009 Build Oklahoma Award from the Associated General Contractors of America. This year it earned the 2010 Dental Office Design of the Year Award and the Outstanding Achievement for the Environmental Concern category from the American Dental Association, the Wells Fargo Practice Finance and Dental Economics magazine. …

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