|City/Town: • Oklahoma City|
|Location Class: • Commercial|
|Built: • 1918 | Abandoned: • 2001|
|Status: • Restored (2019)|
|Photojournalist: • AbandonedOK Team|
(Nu-Way) NuWay Cleaners was constructed in 1918 on the corner of 6th and Western Ave. While there were multiple other NuWay Cleaner businesses around the city, this one stayed in this location during the entire life of the business. Property manager W.H. Smith helped push the business to success during the 1920s when laundry businesses boomed. He always did his best to give absolute satisfaction to his customers. A nearby competitor which has since been beautifully restored was the Sunshine Laundry Cleaners just a few blocks over.
Numerous ads appeared in local newspapers advertising their expertise and knowledge in the laundry business, promising to have your suit returned to you by 5 pm! Even offering a popular 50 cent special without diminishing the quality of service. They were quickly inducted into the Oklahoma City Cleaners and Dryers Association, which always gave a stunning recommendation of the company in newspapers. In the mid-1930s they became licensed sanitone cleaners. Sanitone was something that made a dry cleaning business stick out from the rest.
During the 1970s the second floor of the NuWay Cleaners building housed four apartments. Those tenants occupying the building would have to be evacuated on June 16, 1980, when a two-alarm fire occurred in the apartment of Elaine Marshall. Around 6:40 pm firefighters stormed the building and started evacuations of the tenants down the fire escape. Elaine Marshall said the fire started in her apartment but she was unsure what caused it. Damage to the building and its contents totaled around $10,000 and all four apartments were damaged.
Again on July 7, 1990 the building experienced a substantial fire, this time a three-alarm. The cause seemed to be from a cutting torch being used in an area of the building under construction, which then quickly engulfed the particle board in the ceilings and roof. Employees thought they had put the fire out themselves the day before but unfortunately, it continued to smolder. The damage to the building surpassed $50,000 but no one was injured.
Nu-Way Cleaners closed in 2001 due to a lack of business in the downtown area. But just a few short years later the nonprofit LoveLink Ministries began leasing the buildings for use as a recovery program, food pantry, and craft shop. Things were slow going but often received help from the community. It wasn’t until years later that they opened it up as a thrift store as well to further support their efforts to aid the surrounding area.
Occupying the building until 2019 when their nonprofit began to diminish and no longer could afford to keep the property. In August of 2021 the property was purchased by Shyon Keoppel and Millenial Capital with hopes of revamping the 77,000 square foot property into office and retail spaces.
Gallery Below of NuWay Cleaners
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