BARKitecture: Part 3 Of A 4-Part Series

In this exclusive 4-part series, Ocala Style will give you a sneak peek into each of these 30 delightful dog houses, on display all around Marion County through January 2008. So tap into your inner Fido and join the fun!

No doubt you’ve noticed some pretty fancy doghouses scattered throughout our fair city. With the overwhelming success of the Horse Fever project, the Marion Cultural Alliance (MCA) has come up with another winning idea. It’s called Barkitecture.

This time, instead of painted horses on display around town, residents will enjoy visiting a variety of unique dog houses before they are auctioned off in early 2008 to support both the Humane Society and MCA. Ocala Style is proud to bring our readers a detailed look at each of these houses. Through the January 2008 issue, we will unveil additional dog-houses and where you can find them. This is Ocala Style’s exclusive gift back to you, our readers.

So grab the dog (and the family), jump in the car, and head out to see them for yourself! It should be well worth the trip.

Barkford House
Created by: Nick Hill
Sponsored by: Ocala Traditions Fine Gifts & Bridal Registry
Located at: 405 East Silver Springs Blvd.

If you think you’ve seen this house before, your eyes aren’t deceiving you. The Barkford House pays homage to one of Ocala’s most well-known homes, the Buford House on Fort King Street. According to the dog house designers—or “dogsigners”, any Ocala canine worth his heritage will be pleased to reside in this replica of one of the beautiful Victorian homes that line Ocala’s historic district. Once inside the house, any dog will feel welcome with the comfortable seating and picture collage of fellow dogs. Even when talking about a dog house, it’s the details that count!

Cracker Hounds
Created by:
Schatt Construction and Maggie Weakley
Sponsored by: Paddock Park Animal Care Center
Located at: Paddock Park Animal Care Center, 3931 SW 42nd St.

This cracker-style dog house features the work of one of Ocala’s most beloved artists, Maggie Weakley. Her whimsical dog and cat paintings give the Cracker Hounds house an artist flair, inside and out. A playful kitten chases after a lizard while his feline friend looks on, and a friendly basset hound guards the entrance to the home. Florida architecture is present in the distressed look of the siding, along with the roof.

Ocala Fire Depupmutt
Created by: Ocala Fire Rescue; Ted Smith, CP Johnson-Peoples Architects; Contemporary Interiors; Scott Smith Roofing, and Designs ‘n’ Foam, Inc.
Sponsored by: Robert Boissoneault Oncology Institute
Located at: Robert Boissoneault Oncology Institute, 2020 SE 17th St.

After a fire destroyed much of downtown Ocala on Thanksgiving Day in 1883, the town was rebuilt using brick, granite, and cast iron instead of wood. This included the fire department. By 1888, Ocala become known state-wide as the “Brick City.” This Barkitecture house is a replica of the original fire station, completed in 1894. It was two stories high and featured living quarters on the second floor. A large bell in the tower was used to signal a fire, and was again tolled when the fire was extinguished. As a finishing touch, no fire station, including this one, would be complete without a dalmation standing guard!

New Diggs For the Modern Mutt
Created by:
Andrew Copeland, Matthew Fortin, and Pro Poly of America
Sponsored by: Embarq
Located at: Embarq Store, 3101 SW 34th Ave., Suite 101

With its silver, arched roof and straight lines, this dog house is decidedly modern. A raised platform inside allows any dog a perfect view of the neighborhood. According to the dogsigners, “The modern mutt is rugged yet sophisticated, having a zest for life. Not above digging a hole or pursuing a feline, he is a con-noisseur of fine food and drink. He is an adventurous soul who enjoys entertaining his canine pals in his chic pad.”

Taj Ma-Dog
Created by:
Schatt Construction, Maxine Thomas,
Zettle Plastering, and Architectural Foam Design
Sponsored by: Alex and Wendy Longares, Fox View Farm
Located at: Fox View Farm, 4335  NW 110th Ave.

Alex and Wendy Longares’ Arabian horses were the design in-spiration for this elaborate Barkitecture house. According to the dogsigners, it just seemed appropriate to create a miniature replica of the Taj Mahal. The Taj Mahal is considered the finest example of Mughal architecture, a style that combines Persian, Turkish, Indian, and Islamic architectural styles. The white domed marble mausoleum is perhaps the most familiar elements of the historic site. Taj Ma-Dog’s dome is just as prominent, making it easily recognizable as the Taj Mahal.

Pup’s Primary
Created by: Gerald Clauss, New Colony Homes
Sponsored by: the Star-Banner
Located at:
the Star-Banner, 2121 SW 19th Ave. Rd.

It’s easy to picture a puppy running in and out of this bright red dog house. Created to look like an old-time school house, the home even features a bell to announce the beginning of classes. “Our family pups, Daisy, Lily, and Scarlett always need training,” Gerald says. “Now they have a place to learn new tricks!” A quick visit to Mrs. Malaver’s kindergarten class at Eighth Street Elementary School helped when creating the finishing touches for the design. A blackboard inside instructs students of the rules: no barking, no begging, no chasing, no digging, and no eating.

Animal “Cracker” House
Created by:
Earl Crusse, William Stephenson, and Glen Stephens
Sponsored by: Ocala Style magazine
Located at: Ocala Style magazine, 1007 E. Fort King St.

The dogsigners intent was to build a dog house that reflected a simpler, more nostalgic time and Florida lifestyle. All of the wood used when creating this house was cut from larger timbers and sized to fit, gibing the house an authentic feel and look. As a matter of fact, 100-year-old wood was used to construct the home. This primitive cabin-style home is perfect for the “mutt-dog with an attitude.”

The Master’s Club House
Created by: Greg and Beverly Wise
Sponsored by: M&S Bank
Located at: M&S Bank, 2601 SE Maricamp Rd.

This one-of-a-kind dog house is based on the beautiful Master’s clubhouse in Augusta, Ga., that has catered to the likes of Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, and Phil Mickelson. It was Greg’s long-time love of golf, as well as his collection of items from Augusta National and Bobby Jones memorabilia that made this dog house design a perfect fit. “Besides,” he says “if you’re going to be in the dog house for playing too much golf, you better build a big one.” And the Wises did just that. The Southern plantation-style home features two stories as well as a porch facade. A dog bone, monogrammed with an “M” complete the look.

Stephen C. O’Canine Center
Created by: Ergle Construction, Inc. and Donahue Architecutre, Inc.
Sponsored by: All Pro Imports
Located at: All Pro Imports, 3949 SW College Road

This is the dog house for all the University of Florida Gators fans out there. With the Gators winning the 2006 and 2007 national championships in basketball, this miniature replica of the Stephen C. O’Connell Center is sure to draw a lot of attention. The domed shape makes it very roomy and comfortable for any dog, small or big.

FiDough’s Biscuit Bakery
Created by:
Mike and Sue Amsden, Amsden Sign Advisors
Sponsored by: NetSource Technologies
Located at: NetSource Technologies, 3700 S. Pine Avenue

This whimsical doghouse features “FiDough,” an overly excited little dog who lives for dog biscuits! Mike and Sue Amsden say the inspiration to create FiDough’s Biscuit Bakery came from their dog, Jake. “Our dog loves dog biscuits,” they say. “He’ll do backflips for them.” This doghouse, adorned in orange, yellow, and black accents, is perfect for a fun dog with a great sense of humor. 

Want To Help?

As Marion County’s oldest 501(c)(3) organ-ization, the Humane Society needs our help more than ever. That’s where the Marion Cultural Alliance comes in. Proceeds from Barkitecture will be split between the two very worthy causes. On any given day, the Humane Society houses, on average, 150 dogs and 70-plus cats. As a no-kill shelter, the staff and volunteers of the Humane Society work hard to place the animals with kind, loving homes. For further details and locations of the various doghouses, visit

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