A follower recently reached about a curious-looking building on Court Street, seemingly out of place as compared to the surrounding buildings.
|Google Street View Nov. 2020|
It clearly is different from the typical Italianate style that is more common in downtown and Over-the-Rhine. I took a look at the Sanborn Insurance Maps from 1891 and 1930, and discovered some significant changes:
Address prior to 114-116 West Court
Three-story in front, two story in back, brick building
Address covers 16 to 20 West Court Street
One-story brick building.
The 1887 and 1891 maps show that the building standing at that time was a three-story brick building. A look through the city directories showed it was used for commercial purposes, with businesses such as a china, glass and queensware dealer, a commission merchant, a wholesale confectioner (mmm, candy!), the American Toilet Supply Company, and the Troy Laundry Company.
In 1919, the building was sold, and renovation plans were made:
Nov. 30, 1919; p. 15
Dec. 2, 1919; p. 10
Harry Hake is a noted Cincinnati architect, who also designed many buildings on the campus of the University of Cincinnati, and other notable works.
So this building was originally designed to be a car wash, and not an automatic laundry for clothes! I was unable to locate any images of what the interior of this building looked like, however I did discover this image:
In this era, a car wash was based on the assembly line, where a conveyor, often manual, would pull the car down the line, where workers would perform a task in stations as it went down the line.
Jun 20, 1920; p. 4
|The Quick Service Auto Laundry & Garage sign is visible above the delivery truck in this photo from 1928.|
|1968 Hamilton County Auditor|