Think Globe-al, Abandon Local
Credit Flickr user and documenter of abandoned Americana extraordinaire MJBarnes with capturing the Fashion Care Corporation’s Coin Operated Cleaning & Laundering Village in its current (March 27th of 2011) boarded-up state. Located in historic Roessleville, New York, this grandiose monument to mid-century extravagance boasts a fantastic polka-dotted spherical sign – is it supposed to emulate a soap bubble? – that simply HAD to light up and slowly spin back in the laundromat’s heyday. You know you’d want to do your laundry at such a place, whether or not you had a washer and dryer at home.
Hanging’s Too Good
1967 might have been the Summer Of Love but it was also the year of the laundromat; actually the year THIS laundromat opened in urban Chicago, Illinois. Kudos to Flickr user Chapendra for capturing some evocative interior scenes of an abandoned and unnamed laundromat that processed an unknown (yet undoubtedly immense) amount of laundry over its 38-year run.
Clear The Room
You don’t have to be Michael Moore to know how bad things are in Flint, Michigan, and other parts of the Detroit-area rustbelt… things haven’t improved much in and around the former automobile manufacturing powerhouse since Moore filmed Roger & Me back in 1989. Certainly the former owner of The Laundry Room knows first-hand the perils of doing business in the town GM abandoned, having abandoned his coin laundry due to a lack of paying customers.
We Felt Your Pain
Britain’s urban corner shops were once the foci of close-knit communities, places where everyone knew your name and in the case of the above abandoned launderette (as the Brits call ’em), knew what you’re wearing under your street clothes. Artist Lucy Sparrow sought to revive the corner laundry in East London’s Bethnal Green neighborhood by creating The Cornershop, a unique meld of business and creativity funded by a successful Kickstarter campaign. It took Sparrow seven months to painstakingly knit the hundreds of felt faux “products” to be sold at the store – even the cash register is felt! – and hopefully the interest generated will help revive some of the area’s past neighborliness.