Paris Cleaners Drop-Off Booth
1524 South Westnedge, Kalamazoo

The legacy of Paris Cleaners can be traced to 1902 in Kalamazoo. First located on O’Neill Street, Paris was one of the few early dry cleaners that lasted, with several satellite shops around the community. Dating to 1954, the South Westnedge branch of Paris Cleaners is a little gem in Kalamazoo. It was patterend after magazine clippings of California drive-throughs sent to its longtime proprietors, the Bell family, by a previous owner. Rumor has it that it was the first drive-through dry cleaner in the Midwest by only two days.

The drop-off booth’s color has an interesting tale behind it. The Bell family, who owned Paris Cleaners in the 1950s, could not afford to paint their old delivery truck when the drop-off booth was opened. All they could manage was a primer coat, which just happened to be bright purple. Associates and clients all responded well, and it hasn’t changed since.

Neon lights, brick glass windows, triangular shape and rounded corners place the Paris Cleaners Drop-Off at the tail end of the Art Deco movement.