808-812 Washington Street

36.005009, -78.902175

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808-812 Washington St., 1949 (Courtesy The Herald-Sun Newspaper)

By 1945, 808-812 Washington was the home of branch of the Model Laundry Cleaners company, which had its beginnings on West Main Street prior to a move to 209 Foster St. by the 1920s.

By the 1990s, these buildings were abandoned.


~Early 1990s




In November 2006, they were sold to an LLC which began redevelopment of one of the the buildings, and construction of an additional building to create Sound Pure Studios, a purveyor of high end recording equipment.








Per their website:

"Rather than operate the three separate businesses (the guitar sales boutique, the proaudio/recording sales group, and the recording studios) as three independent arms, they have taken a unique, holistic approach. Sound Pure’s new facility incorporates the three typically separate businesses in a unique way ... The Sound Pure team built, wired, and upfit the entire studio infrastructure themselves, utilizing what they feel are modern-day best-practices ...The facility includes lounges, offices, warehouses, 2 kitchens- most rooms are also wired with built-in microphone wall boxes. Even the all-masonry, untreated studio lobby featuring 750 square feet of an outrageously live ”wet” sound, and the entryway with near 30ft ceilings are both wired with microphone inputs."

I'm always happy that a building gets preserved rather than torn down, and I'm a big fan of infill construction; this is certainly the kind of business I'd love to see establish offices and studios in this area. I can't say I'm a fan of the renovation/design, some of which looks like it was driven by creating solid walls for recording studio space along the street frontage. But happy to see preservation and infill, nonetheless.



I'm assuming you didn't find any earlier info on this building that might explain the crucifix medalions above the entryways...I've always been curious about that.


No explanation - I didn't have a chance to search the city directories at the library between 1923 (last ones online because of ridiculous copyright laws) and 1937, when the Sanborn map shows the dry cleaner located in the building with the crucifixes. I don't know if it had a prior use or not - but they were clearly there in 1950 as well, so might have been something peculiar to the Model Laundry - ?

I had heard it was a church "some time ago." The company I worked for (circa 2005) was interested in acquiring those buildings and converting them into office space, but the ground was so contaminated from the decades of dry cleaning from within and without (i.e. nearby dry cleaning business buildings)that we passed.

It could have been a religious owner or builder. I've seen both crosses and Star of Davids (Stars of David?) on various commercial buildings in various places.

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