Willy the Whale Car Washes - Tonawanda and Niagara Falls, NY
In Niagara Falls and Tonawanda, NY, two massive, nearly-identical blue whale car washes left their imprint on the local imagination in the 70s and 80s...for better or worse.

From The Well-Built Elephant and Other Roadside Attractions,1983, by J. J. C. Andrews:

"Built in the mid-1970s by Whale Inc., both are operated under the name Willy the Whale and are jointly owned by 811 Young Street Associates, Military Road Associates, Richard Cino, Harold Wagner and Orchard Park Car Washes. Constructed of steel girders covered with steel mesh and concrete, each whale is 70 feet long,
30 feet wide and 30 feet high, with 9-foot flippers. Painted blue, the whales disport among concrete palm trees and seahorses. They differ from one another in the line of their bodies, the upsweep and shape of their tails, and the Tonawanda
whale has had concrete boxes grafted onto his mouth and tail - presumably to add additional
washing equipment.

"Whether or not the whales will
long endure is up to question: They
are no longer washing cars and their
condition is deteriorating. Save the
whales!"

As articles also in this set show, some Tonawanda residents found the whale an eyesore.
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