Five Points Car Wash | Los Angeles Conservancy
Photo courtesy Architectural Resources Group

Five Points Car Wash

The Five Points Car Wash in Whittier is one of the finest intact examples of Googie car washes in Southern California. Completed in 1963, the car wash is typical of the mid-century style of this roadside property type, exhibiting the flashy, space-age Googie style designed to draw drivers off of major thoroughfares for a quick clean and shine.

It occupies a prime location at an intersection where five major streets come together, hence its name.

The building’s flat, widely overhanging roof shelters the washing apparatus and waiting room/cashier area, stretching the full length of the horizontal building. The roofline is punctuated by huge vertical pylons that pierce the roof and soar far above it with curving and angled lines visible over a wide distance. The car wash is further distinguished by an intact pole sign with two massive points shooting into the air and wonderful early-1960s lettering advertising “Car Wash” in neon.

The Googie carwash is a fairly common building type in Los Angeles, but few of the surviving buildings are as intact and as exuberant as the Five Points.

Lakeside Car Wash
Photo courtesy Architectural Resources Group

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.
Student Walkouts at Garfield High School. Photo by LAPL.

Garfield High School

The century-old Garfield High School played a key role in the East L.A. Chicano Student Walkouts (Blowouts) of March 1968.
Johnie's Coffee Shop
Photo by Stephen Russo

Johnie's Coffee Shop

One of L.A.'s finest examples of Googie architecture popular in the 1950s and '60s stands as an irreplaceable reminder of L.A.'s postwar period.