13 miles south of Downtown L.A. in a place called Downey there is an odd looking McDonalds with a sign that reads this is oldest operating McDonalds in the world. The building is also a bit of an odd shape I remember the first time I saw it as a kid I thought it was so futuristic and by the way Downey is the birthplace of the Apollo Space Program the dawn of space age was booming when architect Stanley Clark Meston designed the building. Meston made the arches to light up to give a space age feeling. The building is mostly glass and steel. Every square foot served a specific purpose. On Saturday August 18 2018 the neighborhood celebrated it’s 65th anniversary: we were there to check it out.
The restaurant is the third McDonalds ever – has survived “modernization” upgrades and the destructive Northdrige quake of 1990. The magnitude of the quake caused enough damage to the building that it was closed down for two years. During those two years there was talk about demolishing the building but the mighty Downey conservancy fought to have the restaurant be listed in the US NATIONAL REGISTRY OF HISTORIC PLACES.
1027 Lakewood Blvd Downey CA 90402
If you are already in the neighborhood don’t forget to visit The Carpenter House.