Victorian Yet Modern: Designing the Julian, Calif. Medical Clinic

Two cousins, both Civil War veterans, headed west from Georgia to seek their fortunes. They settled in a lush meadow near the Cuyacama Mountains and founded the Town of Julian. About an hour east of San Diego, Julian became home to San Diego County’s first and only gold rush. With all the gold mined from the area by the 1930s, the quaint, frozen-in-time town is now known for its apples and apple pie, drawing in tourists who want to experience apple picking, colorful seasons and a taste of history.

While Julian’s residents live in a community that is as beautiful as it is historical, access to health care can be a challenge. FS Design Group is proud to work with San Ysidro Health to bring modern medicine to the Town in a way that honors its past and its present.

Victorian-era architectural and design elements will ensure the new Julian Clinic, being constructed from the ground up, will fit in with the Town’s old-fashioned feel while providing much-needed health care to the sparsely populated area.

“This is a unique and special medical facility design because San Ysidro Health wants to keep the Town’s aesthetic and culture and not create something that doesn’t fit in,” said FS Design Group Designer Seyda Wyatt. “This facility will match its surroundings by blending rich yet simple Victorian-era design elements with the latest technology and materials to comply with medical office building requirements.” 

In the two-story clinic’s waiting room, offices, restrooms, stairwells and halls, the Victorian era will be seen through ornamentation, rich colors and handcrafted millwork features. Some design highlights include:

  • Rustic plank wood flooring
  • Tin ceiling panels with cornice or wood ceiling planks and crown molding
  • Authentic-styled wainscot
  • Floral designs in rich blues, reds and greens on wall coverings, upholstery and privacy curtains
  • Ornate restroom mirrors with delicate bird and vine details
  • Door and cabinet hardware in brass
  • Vintage light fixtures

A design challenge is that materials used in most of the medical facility must be new, code compliant and durable — and such materials are generally available in the clean, modern lines of a contemporary style. So Seyda and the FS Design Group team are finding elements that satisfy sanitation and mobility requirements while also embracing the vintage flare of florals and deep colors. For example, the rustic plank wood flooring look will continue in the exam rooms with similar-appearing luxury vinyl tile, which is easy to clean and durable. Even the bronze and brass door handles being used throughout the clinic comply with the Americans with Disability Act.

“While designing the Julian Clinic with the Victorian feel of the old mining town is a fun challenge, the best part is knowing that we are creating something that residents and tourists in this beautiful community need and will appreciate and need,” Seyda adds.

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