Thursday, December 17, 2009

daily snapshot: marvel cleaners

Marvel Cleaners, Colesville

Here's another one for Silver Spring, Singular's Googie file: Marvel Cleaners, located in this 1960's-era Mid-Century Modern building at New Hampshire and Randolph in Colesville. (Why is it that dry cleaners are always the most architecturally adventurous?) My family's been going here since we originally moved Up The Pike in 1998, and even then I was always puzzled by this strange building.

There are a lot of things I love about it today: the giant neon letters running across the front (which are still lit at night) and the three hexagonal signs below. The floor-to-ceiling windows (though look closely at the bottom and you'll see most of the louvers have either fallen out or gotten stuck) and the four lamps on the left side that draw the eye to an otherwise blank wall. The asymmetrical composition of the entire building, which directs customers to the door without having to put it on the front.

This place has definitely seen better days, though if Marvel were ever to leave it, I'd hope to see it fixed up. The suburban roadside buildings we put up fifty years ago are no less cheaper than the ones we build today, but when done right they look so much classier than the crap that followed.


Sligo said...

I've been meaning to get that one, but it was never quite convenient. Why not add it to the pool?

Sligo said...

PS check out the photos I just added to the pool. You should appreciate those if you haven't seen them before.

Dan Reed said...

Awesome. Thanks for letting me know about this pool - I looked through the whole thing today, and I felt all warm inside. Ornament can be such a bother sometimes.

Sligo said...

My favorite of the bunch.

Jessica said...

Hey there! I'm loving your blog! This is a great shot! I'm in Atlanta, but my entire extended family on both my parents' sides were from the area. This was my grandpa's cleaners! :) Eventually my Aunt and Uncle took over and now Verizon is leasing the land.