Lakeside Car Wash
Standing out with its unusual ranch house-meets-Googie coffee shop style, Lakeside Car Wash hides dirty cars from view while showcasing shiny and clean cars out front.
The iconic Lakeside Car Wash is currently threatened with demolition as part of a mixed-use redevelopment project.
Built in 1956, the Lakeside Car Wash at the corner of Riverside Drive and Hollywood Way is an iconic car wash and has long been a fixture near the Warner Brother’s Studio in Burbank. The car wash is currently threatened with demolition as part of a seven-story condominium project.
The Lakeside Car Wash is eligible for designation at the local, state, and national level for its associations with Burbank’s Post-War development and auto-centric architecture. Given the high degree of integrity of this rare resource, the Conservancy advocated for the Lakeside Car Wash building. We urged for additional mitigation measures, including funding for a historic context statement and/or historic resources survey to be included as part of the Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for 3700 Riverside Drive Mixed-Use Project.
On April 11, 2022, the Burbank Planning Board voted to approve the Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the 3700 Riverside Drive Mixed-Use Project, which allows for the demolition of this historic car wash, though the iconic Googie sign will be retained and relocated onsite. This decision did not address the Conservancy’s concerns or recommendations.
About This Place
About This Place
Lakeside Car Wash stands out with its unusual ranch house-meets-Googie coffee shop style. The 1956 building is long, low, and rambling like the ranch houses of surrounding San Fernando Valley neighborhoods and its exaggerated neon signage and design flourishes give it an unmistakably Googie vibe.
In 1963, the Lakeside Car Wash was awarded the Los Angeles Beautiful award for its “excellence in landscaping, exterior housekeeping, and contributions to the beauty of the area.” The competition looked at over 300 buildings through the Valley and awarded only eight with the title. In 2000, the Los Angeles Times referenced Lakeside Car Wash in its Googie architecture tour.
This rare and highly intact Mid-Century car wash building has been determined eligible for listing at the local, state, and national levels.
The Conservancy opposes the demolition of the Lakeside Car Wash, as proposed by 3700 Riverside Drive Mixed-Use Project. We advocated for additional mitigation measures to be included in the redevelopment project, which would better plan for and protect similar historic resources in Burbank in the future. This included completion of a citywide thematic historic resources survey and context for Mid-Century commercial resources, eligibility retention within the Partial Preservation Alternative, and broadening Project Objective 10, which limited the preservation-based alternatives and outcomes of the project.