Remember polyester leisure suits? Like the one Travolta wore in Saturday Night Fever?
There are approximately 30,000 dry cleaning establishments operating in the United States—and now, in Maine, there’s one fewer.
A dry cleaner operating since the mid 1950s survived the leisure suit craze, but apparently not the financial pressure of new environmental regulations.
In addition to operating for more than half a century as a dry cleaner, the nearly 8,000 square foot building also once housed a former garment manufacturer, padlock assembly plant and printer. The site also carries the historical significance of being one of only several downtown buildings to survive a pair of fires that leveled much of the New England town’s downtown area in the 1800s.
The dry cleaner reportedly closed on July 30 in the face of new vapor intrusion standards from the state’s DEP that carried a price tag the business couldn't withstand.
The site was just purchased by a West Coast remediation firm with plans to remediate any property contamination and restore the building to its original condition. Ultimately, the firm may use some of the space to open an East Coast operation or even lease out storefront to a “green” dry cleaner to replace the service the town lost. Although a dry cleaner may return, hopefully leisure suits won’t.