Friday, November 11, 2011

MINIT-MAN Automatic Car Wash, 140 N. Lake Avenue (Next to Farmers Market), SYcamore 6-2747

The beautiful Beaux-Arts style Columbia School was discontinued at the end of the school year 1930-31 and the property on the North East corner of North Lake Avenue and Walnut Street was sold.

The school building was demolished and the Farmer's Market complex was built on the site and today Ralphs market is located here, the only remnant of an early shopping center complex, comparable to the still existing Farmer's Market Shopping Center located at Fairfax and 3rd in Hollywood. There were many individual shops located at the Pasadena complex, including Japanese owned and operated fresh fruit and vegetable grocers and florists who used to be a fixture of the Pasadena landscape. We sadly miss most of those businesses, but a few survive in the city such as Johnny's Sport Shop located at 1402 N. Lincoln, a walk back in time, and the Bellefontaine Nursery located at 838 S. Fair Oaks. The Japanese community has always been an important part of Pasadena history.

Recently found at a local estate, an advertising pencil for the MINIT-MAN Automatic Car Wash which was located just south of the Pasadena Farmer's Market Shopping Center.

Does anyone remember the Farmer's Market Shopping Center and/or the MINIT-MAN Automatic Car Wash? I would love to see some photographs.....


  1. This is fascinating.
    I had no idea farmers markets were an old concept, and that there was one where Ralph's is now. I must go into Johnny's sport shop, a place I drive past all the time. Again, I had no idea. Thanks for the information.

  2. I was told there was a farmer's market where I grew up that also became a Ralphs (now Howes) Huntington and San Gabriel blvd

  3. I remember this place, I even had family that worked there. One of the shops was like a burger stand or luncheonette, this where my mother worked. When I would walk home from McKinley Jr High I would stop in for an ice cream. Would love to see a picture of the place.