Blue Whale Car Wash (Young Street, Tonawanda)

Dublin Core


Blue Whale Car Wash (Young Street, Tonawanda)


The Blue Whale as a steel-girded tadpole, ca 1972.The Blue Whale Car Wash seemed harmless enough: a building-size mass of periwinkle fiberglass smiling and loafing beside the Twin Cities Memorial Highway (about where Wendy's is today), ingesting filthy cars and disgorging clean ones, and providing an unambiguous landmark for area directions-givers and -receivers throughout the 70s and early 80s.

But as articles in this collection show, the Blue Whale was  something of a "white whale" to certain residents, who thought the spectacle of the thing to be below the, erm, dignity of The Other Twin Cities. The area's armchair Ahabs had to wait more than a decade before their hearts' desires were realized, when the whale was demolished in May of 1985. Alas: "Thar, she soaps!" no more.

A second Blue Whale Car Wash was located in Niagara Falls, on 3rd Street.


Andrews, J. J. C. The Well-Built Elephant and Other Roadside Attractions: A Tribute to American Eccentricity. Minnesota: Congdon & Weed, 1984.