Capital City Laundry

Here, at the corner of South Decatur and High Streets, stands the last remnant of Capital City Laundry, for most of a century the laundry king of Montgomery. In 1970, Capital City boasted 11 branches, and its only real competitor, Empire-Rouse, had but 8 sites. On this corner, each one had an operation and the two giants went head to head. Back then, Empire-Rouse occupied the red brick building, seen still standing on the left edge of the picture, across High Street. Capital City was started circa 1900, soon acquired and expanded by newcomer Charles Smith Sr. His son, Charles Jr, an MIT grad, modernized the operation and built the pictured structure as a show-case steam laundry operation. In 1959, his son Charles III, gave this old plant a new face and fought off the coin-operated laundry phenom. 

-Charles Humphries

circa 1900, courtesy of Alabama Department of Archives and History

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