Sunshine Cleaners

In 2021 Prairie Nation Creative, LLC in partnership with the Abandoned Atlas Foundation worked to create an amazing video on the restoration of the Sunshine Laundry Cleaners into the Stonecloud Brewery. See the video below as well as the full history and photo gallery of the Sunshine Laundry Cleaners.

Dating back to 1928 when it was constructed this building has been home to a laundry company. Starting out with National Sunshine Laundry Co., they were known around Oklahoma City as one of the best and most affordable laundromats. Manager V. I. Scharlack advertised themselves as having low prices without sacrificing quality. Housewives in the 1930s could have their clothes washed for the low price of 2 cents per pound. Everyone else got their clothes gently swished in individual bags through soft suds and returned them just damp enough for easy ironing for 4 cents per pound. Customers could pick up their receiver and dial 3-7494 also and have a delivery man come pick up their wash for them. One customer was quoted saying “If I had only let Sunshine Laundry take this hard work off my hands a long time ago. I don’t see how they can do it for so small a charge.” 

 

In January of 1938, a laundry workers union was threatening local laundromats in Oklahoma City, one of those being Sunshine Laundry. The union formed by A.K. Webb presented a contract to the management on behalf of its workers. When said workers showed up for their shifts on the following Monday they found themselves locked out and given notices of indefinite suspensions. But Mr. Scharlach, Vice President of Sunshine Laundry, said the employees were given notices because of a shutdown to install boiler equipment and that arrangements had been made with Nuway Laundry to employ them until Sunshine was back open. But Webb said management failed to keep their word about discussing the union’s demands. A strike broke out and seven employees were charged with assault and battery.

Sunshine Cleaners

 

Sunshine Laundry & Cleaners’ once fast-paced business slowed tremendously with the rise of household washing machines in the 1950s. By 1986 they were no longer able to hold on and the laundromat that had served residents in Oklahoma City for over fifty years was closed. The building became vacant and quickly became a place frequented by transients. On July 6, 1989, after three years of vacancy the building caught fire and was reported to have caused minimal damage after the OKCFD put out the blaze quickly. The fire was suspected to be arson with the fire being contained to a northwest room next to old storage bins filled with rags and clothes. Over the course of the next twenty years, the roof would collapse and trees would start reclaiming the land.

 

Restoration

In 2015 the abandoned building would be given a second chance at life. New owners Ben Sellers, Jonathan Dodson, and David Wanzer purchased the building for $725,000 with visions of a brewery and tap room and offices. They took extra steps to add it to the National Register of Historic Places in 2016, a testimony to the buildings long and rich history. Everyone was arguably most excited to see the iconic neon sign light up again that has loomed over Classen Boulevard for decades. The developer of the project was Pivot Project partnering with Gardner Architects and Lingo Construction. After all was said and done the total redevelopment cost was around $3.93 million. Opening as Stonecloud Brewing in the summer of 2017, it has become a hub of enjoyable leisure for Oklahoma City residents.

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At the Abandoned Atlas Foundation (AAF) our main goals are preservation and education. Through historical research articles, endangered nominations, call-to-action videos, and public outreach we pool together resources.