Googie History


1940's Googie Architecture originated in Los Angeles, inspired by Streamline Moderne architecture of the 1930’s and later becoming popular with coffee shops, gas stations, motels and car wash attention-getting architecture and signage. Examples include: Norms, McDonalds, In-N-Out Burger, Denny’s, the LAX Theme Building, Disney’s Tomorrowland, and The Jetson’s cartoon. The future is bright!.


Architect John Lautner designed a Hollywood coffee shop named Googies. The term Googie was the nickname of the coffee shop owner’s wife and evolved into an architectural reference point that later became the name of this mid-century style. Features of the Googie artform can be seen in curvaceous geometric shapes, tall pylons, upswept rooflines, articulated use of steel, neon, and glass.


The Space Race is on and technology is changing peoples’ lives in a good way. The southern California car culture is in full swing. Googie architecture and signage is experiencing its heyday of consumer popularity.


Built in 1962, Five Points Car Wash embodied the Googie architectural style popularized by Douglas Haskell with its 35-foot tall pylons and neon sign pole. The site also included the first self-serve gas station that was later removed along with underground storage tanks. The car wash tunnel, observation hall, polish canopy, gas station canopy, secondary pole sign and primary pole sign constructed for the Urich Oil Company, a local business owned by self-service gas station innovator, George Urich.


Googie Car Wash was bought by an opportunistic businessman who for years attempted to demolish the site though his efforts proved no match for the Whittier Planning folks and the Whittier Conservancy who fought all attempts to destroy the wash tunnel and sign pole. During this time period however, the owner allowed the property to deteriorate badly.


March 12th, The Historic Resources Commission meets to formally establish the site's historic relevance. The outcome resulted in findings that determined wash tunnel and sign pole would be included in the City's Register of Historic Resources as a Local Landmark.


Clearwater Communities discovers the property and realizes that the wash tunnel and sign pole are diamonds in the rough. After multiple meetings with City of Whittier Planning, elected officials, the Whittier Conservancy, Friends of Whittier, community and business leaders, Clearwater commences the arduous purchase of the entire site which included 2.88 acres with four other non-historic buildings.


By April 2017, Clearwater Communities purchased the entire Five Points Car Wash site and starts the approval process to obtain planning approvals and historic clearances to properly renovate the iconic car wash tunnel and sign pole, under the watchful eye of the Whittier Planning Department and Whittier Conservancy while simultaneously improving ingress and egress while adding cutting-edge, green-tech car wash equipment.


The Clearwater renovation and site planning process advances on the path to approvals by complying with and/or exceeding Whittier Municipal Code Section 18.84.050 and CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act) best practices. Clearwater decides to name the historic wash: Googie Car Wash to honor its history and the community.


Renovation and site work commence in mid-April 2019 and is substantially complete by October 2019 on time and on budget. Site work is done and the historic 180-foot wash tunnel with nine 35-foot tall pylons renovated. The sign pole is renovated including all new neon lighting. Native, drought tolerant landscape is installed with water-saving drip irrigation. Milkweed is planted to provide sanctuary for the Monarch Butterfly, desperately in need of habitat to reproduce and start to reverse the trend of their plunging population.

Googie Assistant Manager
Assistant Manager

To assist in managing site operations, safety, staff, customer service standards, productivity, daily operations, and equipment functionality. Provide customer service and make certain all associates are working together to provide an overall great experience to our guests.

You’ll Need To:
  • Help direct and supervise employees engaged in sales, reconciling cash receipts, or when performing services for customers.
  • Provide excellent customer service by greeting and assisting customers, and responding to customer inquiries and resolving customer concerns, and ensure they have a pleasant, happy experience.
  • Insure the Googie Car Wash site is clean and neat. Make certain all equipment is in excellent working order, functional, and properly representing the brand in accordance with company guidelines. Put our best foot forward!
  • Monitor activities to ensure that customers receive excellent service.
  • Help Manager engage in risk management activities to prevent injury to employees and guests. Minimize exposure to damage and protect Googie Car Wash employees and assets.
You’ll Be Responsible For:
  • Representing The Googie Car Wash brand, Mission, Vision, Values.
  • Performing daily operational activities and tasks including safety is of the highest importance. Other daily operational activities and tasks include cash management and security, prioritization of activities, delegation and follow through, site inspections, and scheduling to ensure optimal efficiency/profitability.
  • Ensure safety in all facets of wash site including property, facilities, equipment, staff, and customers by complying with daily inspection checklists/protocol.
  • Ensure that every customer experience is flawless. If a mistake was made, strive to fix it ASAP with a smile.
  • Maximize the through-put of the wash site by meeting established Cars Per Hour (CPH) standards and quality expectations while delivering on the company mission, vision, values, and brand promise.
  • Manage on-site staff development of Wash Team members, Shift leads, and manager trainees including training, accountability, and team collaboration skills.
  • Monitoring wash site equipment for optimal performance, provide or direct maintenance or notify maintenance and engineering team as appropriate.
  • Ongoing, timely, and thorough communication with staff and General Manager (GM), regarding operations, site conditions, and issues pertinent to respective roles.
  • Demonstrated ability to exercise sound judgment and make good, common-sense decisions consistent with job functions, strategies, mission, vision, values.
  • General housekeeping and cleanliness for your site by inspecting, cleaning, setting the example, and promoting teamwork to ensure all staff take responsibility for grounds/properties cleanliness and appearance.
  • Ensure that all staff conducts themselves with Googie values, including hustling, smiling and showing outward engagement of all staff and every guest.
    - Smile and thank every guest for their business and make sure all associates do the same.
You Must Have The Ability To:
  • Speak clearly so that co-workers and guests can understand you.
  • Identify and understand the speech of another person, so you can promptly and accurately respond and resolve any issues.
  • Understand when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong; take steps to prevent problem or solve problem.
  • Apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Understand basic computer skills, report generation, complete timely and accurate checklists and other management reports.
You Must Physically Be Able To:
  • Work standing for 7-10 hours per day
  • Sit for only 1-2 hours per day
  • Walk for 7-10 hours per day
  • Speak to guests and co-works for 7-10 hours per day
  • See, hear, and read for 7-10 hours per day
  • High School Diploma (or equivalent)
    - Additional education is a plus (Junior College or College degree or courses).
Work Experience
  • Minimum 1 year experience in customer service or retail preferred.
    - Ability to perform minor repairs/maintenance to car wash equipment.
    - Experience working with cars and/or machinery is a plus.
Googie Team Member
Team Member
To provide excellent customer service to every customer at all times. Provide a positive and enjoyable customer experience so our guests feel appreciated and want to return. Strive for efficiency in the wash cycle while maintaining customer & employee safety as a top priority. Always model Googie’s right behaviors, performance expectations, and keep the wash site clean and presentable at all times.
Essential Functions:
  • Greet customers with a smile and a warm “welcome”.· Describe service and benefits; recommend our top monthly package, select, and help customer select the wash they prefer.
  • Know all current sales promotions, policies regarding payments, hours, general information about wash.
  • Prepare Receipts when customers purchase wash items and packages
  • Keep the parking lot clean, ensure all vacuums are working properly, trash bins are empty, and not too full. Bend down to pick up trash, sweep, wipe down equipment.
  • Guide guests onto the conveyor in the wash tunnel with a smile on your face.
  • Adhere to all health, safety and security practices.
  • Exceed customer expectations. Say “Welcome, thank you, and i’m sorry” (if there is a problem, even if we didn’t cause the problem)
  • Customer service is always delivered at its best including; Customer Interaction, Enhancing Washes, Claim/Complaint Resolution & Customer Retention. Goal is to increase average ticket price and unlimited club members.
  • Monitor wash site equipment for optimal performance, wipe down machines, maintenance, and promptly notify Site Management if there is a potential issue BEFORE it becomes a problem.
  • Communicate thorough knowledge of Googie washes, pricing, and services to our guests.
  • Keep a watchful eye regarding safety and security. Notify management if you suspect fraud, theft, or accidental loss.
  • General housekeeping and cleanliness of the site by inspecting, cleaning, setting the example for site cleanliness and personal appearance, which should be neat and clean at all times. Googie shirt needs to be tucked in, belt worn, and Googie baseball cap straight forward. No cell phone out during work!
  • Works hard, smiles and shows outward engagement with staff and guests.
  • Ability to observe site conditions and be on the lookout for any uncommon noises coming from the tunnel or company property.
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so co-workers and guests can understand you.
  • Speech/Sound Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person and respond professionally. Must identify uncommon sounds on site (inside wash tunnel and around site).
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. Solve issue before it becomes a problem. Notify manager.
  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
You Must Physically Be Able To:
  • Stand for 7-8 hours per day
  • Sit for 1-2 hours per day
  • Walk for 7-8 hours per day
  • Speak for 7-8 hours per day
  • See, hear, and read for 7-8 hours per day
  • High School Diploma (or equivalent), in the process of obtaining additional education a plus.
Work Experience
  • Customer Service/Retail experience preferred.