A photo journey through the world's oldest McDonald's

A photo journey through the world's oldest McDonald's

CultureOctober 06, 2017 By Samantha Keller

The oldest operating McDonald’s restaurant is the second ever built in the chain’s massive worldwide domination, and still remains intact some 64 years after first opening its doors in August of 1953. The Downey, California, location stands as a historical marker in American advancement — some would argue a negative one, while others hold tightly onto the nostalgia it’s brought hundreds of millions of homes for more than half a century. Whichever way one leans, it’s hard to deny the impact a simple family business venture had on generations, with many more to come. 

Richard and Maurice McDonald opened their first restaurant close to the Monrovia Airport in 1937 called The Airdrome. Later, in 1940, they opened a BBQ joint in San Bernardino, California, that would later evolve into the modern McDonald’s everyone knows today.

McDonald’s was able to best other restaurants by severely undercutting competitor prices. By using assembly line principles spearheaded by Ford Motors, the spot could sell burgers for only 15 cents, almost half of what everyone else was doing at that time.

After suffering damage from an earthquake in 1994 — and coming to the realization sales weren’t getting any better for it — the site was closed and ordered to be demolished. The public (along with the help of preservationists) petitioned, however, and forced the chain to restore it for continued service.

Courtesy of Google Maps.