The newest place to get your car washed in Silver Lake – once it stops raining

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Work on the new LA Express Car Wash in Silver Lake is wrapping up just in time for the rains to arrive. Construction of the car wash, which replaced a former Union 76 service station at the corner of Glendale Boulevard and Fletcher Drive, is complete but workers are installing equipment inside the building, which is wrapped in a copper-colored material and topped with skylights. L.A. Express gives the impression that it’s a full service car wash but it’s really a self-service operation, explained one worker who was installing equipment. Drivers pull up to a machine that looks like an ATM to select and pay for their wash before their vehicle goes through an automated washer. Customers will then dry their cars under about two dozen individual canopies.  When will L.A. Express , which was designed by Leslie Lippich Architects, open? The Eastsider has call into the contractor to find out.


  1. Signage FAIL!
    Such a cool looking architectural building with ugly, amateurish signage and logo. Total disconnect between the two.
    I’d love to hear what the architect has to say about it.

  2. Sign seems fine to me.

  3. I just shook my head when I learned a car wash was going up in place of the 76 station, but I thought well maybe it’ll put a few people to work.

    Now I learn it’s automated and the patrons do the drying (and like slaker wrote above: signage FAIL!). Pffft. Even with its fancy design, I’m still bummed at such a prime piece of my neighborhood being occupied by something so trivial and useless to me.

  4. Will, you don’t own the neighborhood. Your neighbors, like I, will be using this wash.

    Signage fail? Obnoxious Ironic Hipsterdom in it’s purest form.

  5. cashew,
    If you live in the area, you are likely aware of Silver Lake’s long standing heritage of Modernist architecture. It’s thrilling to see a another progressive modern building across from the Astro and down the street from Neutra’s office. Silver Lake is notable for it’s numerous architecturally significant Mid Century Modern homes which draws the attention and admiration of design buffs. These homes and buildings were built by the ORIGINAL HIPSTERS 50+ years ago which set the course for our area.

    The question is this — Why the design disconnect between the sophisticated building and the amateurish signage?

  6. i have to agree with all the signage angst. i live on this corner and it pains me to see the horrible sign on the seemingly sleek building. Plus those faux rocks are a little sad. i can only hope our creative outdoor artists find a way to brighten it up…i know, i am proporting tagging but seriously it’s so ugly it needs help.

  7. I’ve been looking at this building for months and really can’t figure out what’s going on with the bizarre mosaic and sheet metal “clouds” that are shown in the photograph.

    As far as the use goes, it’s a perfect location for a car wash. Not every business in silverlake can be a boutique or coffeeshop.

  8. The mosaics are hand done! I saw the workers a few times when I drove by. It took several days for them to meticulously place these on the wall. However, those weird faux WTF steel clouds must have been added post architect. Ouch! To top it off, these people have now obscured the parts of the mosaic with some additional steel “droplets” to fit with the garish steel cloud or clod? nodes? formation that are out of proportion to the mosaic.

    Note original design – understated and sleek. I can only imagine the distress the poor architect feels when looking at these Frankenstein adaptions.

    Owners – Leave it alone! You had the good sense to hire an architect who gave you a simple and elegant design but you have taken a left turn off the deep end and over the ledge. Unfortunately, you are not a designer nor architect (as evidenced by your logo) so please, leave the design alone! Get some decent signage and stop embarrassing your possibly fine company with that cringe worthy logo.

    And yes, I’ll be using it. Cringing but using it. There is not an auto car wash for miles around. Now we have a choice between the DIY up the street or the cruise through here on the corner. I have no problem with usage issues however I do mourn the old 76 ball.
    The original plan for this building would have done Silver Lake proud. A shame.

  9. I will use it as long as the cost is the same as the coin operated manual ones.

  10. Jobs? There are jobs. There will be a line of day labors willing to do the drying and polishing and they will have the waxes and polishes to do it.

  11. Awww Cashew (gesundheit!), don’t be like that… I will far less defensively and more respectfully than you defer to an understanding and appreciation that differences should be encouraged not petulantly rejected. I hope the carwash is everything you want it to be and more.

  12. What are you guys smoking? Sophisticated? Elegant and sleek?

    Try cheap, minimal (not to be confused with minimalist), and devoid of any style or craftsmanship.

    And, how can something be called ‘progressive’ when it’s copying a trend that originated 50+ years ago?

  13. Are you guys for real ?

    It’s a CAR WASH !

    Who cares , really ?

    Are there not more pressing issues in the community than critiquing a car wash ? get real !

  14. juke: certainly more pressing issues…perhaps as passionately critiquing comments and opinions on a blog?

    All ribbing aside, whether you want or do not want this specific business in the area (I live right around the corner and feel indifferent toward this new business since another self wash I frequent is just up the street), hoping for your local architecture, even for even a mundane service as a car wash, to aspire for inspired rather than merely acceptable seems rational if you care about where you live. In fact I’d argue we need more architecture opposed to box-style development for economic longevity.

    Community in part is defined by the landscape and architecture of the neighborhood, so why not hope for the best rather than settle for what’s already abundant (developer-based constructions), especially when this car wash is a cut above most similar service buildings? From a rational perspective, design plays a part in the character and beauty of a city, so while the architectural details of a single building may seem superficial, in the larger context it can define the personality of the community as a whole. I don’t know many people who aspire to live surrounded by strip-mall development if given the opportunity to decide.

    Eventually I’ll probably give the new wash a try, but the self-wash station on Glendale is good enough for this kid. It’s just a shame the owners didn’t simply inquire about typographic advice from the architectural firm they contracted in the first place!

  15. Certainly for juke who couldn’t care less there’s nothing more pressing than to complain about those of us who do find aspects of a new business in the community a relevant topic. Get real, indeed.

  16. It Is certainly not about not caring less …was just trying to view the big picture , that in the scope of how big the world is , and the bigger issues that are pressing , how small this issue really is .

    I actually knew Pat Nardoni and his whole family who owned the 76 station .
    My family has lived in Silverlake and Echo Park for over 62 years .

    How dare you. Relevance is fighting protesting and rallying against a football stadium in Elysian Park like the community did years ago .THAT was and is relevant , not a dumb car wash sign!

    Where were you ?

    Still living our of state before you claimed this as “your neighborhood “?

    Put your cheesy photo on match .com where it belongs , and how dare you try and “school” those of us whose families have lived here long before you developed your nasty attitude ! What a tool you are .

  17. Juke rhymes with rebuke! Such vitriol and venom (and a reading such an impressive residential resume) seems defensively directed at those of us who dared not to embrace such an initial and apopleptic dismissal toward those of us who found this post of interest enough to comment.

    It’s very remedial of me, but last I checked: just because something isn’t relevant to someone else, doesn’t render it irrelevant. Juke is certainly entitled to believe he or she has cornered the market on what matters most, but such an ability to look at the big picture through such a narrow field of vision is intriguing.

    Less compelling, amidst all the accusations of nasty attitudes and tool-dom, is the tired belligerence against those assumed not to have Juke’s embedded pedigree — as if we can’t have a say in the matter (unless it’s a concurring one) or simply disagree because we haven’t lived here as long.

    But at least there were no demands to “move back to Idaho.” Or at least none yet. But I’ll check in and see after I put my cheesy mugshot up on Facebook. If I visit the dotcom Juke suggested my wife would drop a “how dare you” even more outrageous than Juke’s.

  18. I LOVE the building but the signage looks like a CHEAP SWAP MEET in …I better leave that off.

    The building is beautiful but whoever decided to go for that UGLY cheap green signage should be hung up by his/her toenails.

  19. the “architecture” is really, really nasty. Too bad.

  20. Went there yesterday for a $6 wash. It was great!
    -I vacuumed better than two guys who usually do it for me.
    -I got to sit in the car wash, pretty awesome.
    -No tipping anyone!
    -If you focus and do what you need to do, done in 10 minutes.

  21. They have a monthly pass as well, which is pretty awesome!
    I love this place. The vacuums are powerful and the carwash is amazing. When I went, there was a guy that dried off the car!

    For those of you first timers, bring a towel, the blowdryer won’t completely dry the car. Other than that, trash cans are there for you to throw out all the garbage in your car. I wish there was a yelp on this, I’d review in an instant!

  22. Armen must be too used to that hideous tacky, gaudy faux mediterranean architecture in Glendale to appreciate classic lines that are SIMPLE!

  23. Who was at this car wash yesterday, as I drove it in one employee try to wash off my sticker of Donald Trump and saying f*** Donald Trump f*** Donald Trump and recording it, would like to see if something have gotten done about it I reported it to the manager, he has not got back to me been going to this place since it opened

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