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Portland’s ‘Original’ McDonald’s to Lose Its Distinctive Architecture

It’s one of three still standing

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A Portland McDonald’s — one of few bearing the fast food giant’s original architecture — is set to be demolished in the near future as part of a major overhaul.

The McDonald’s at Southeast 91st and Powell (just off Highway 205 and near the SE Powell MAX station) is one of only three locations left in the country with the brand’s original architecture, dating back to the 1950s and ‘60s. Original features of the building include a distinctive golden arch on each side, a slanted roof that overhangs the main windows where orders are made, and red and white stripes on the building’s sides.

The 91st and Powell McDonald’s is the country’s third oldest, opened in 1962, and remaining locally owned for much of its lifespan — the two older locations with similar design are in Downey and Pomona, California, and were both built in the ‘50s.

The historic building hasn’t housed regular McDonald’s operations for some time now, remaining available only for special events — there’s a newer building at the same site that functions the same way as the chain’s other 35,000-plus locations. According to a company representative, the entire location will close on February 22 for reconstruction, and will eventually reopen with table service and self-service kiosks.

The location’s owner James Dotson will be handing out tiles from the location as mementos in the coming weeks.

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America’s oldest McDonald’s, in Downey, Ca.
Wikimedia Commons

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