McDonnel’s Drive In, 1935

Not Mickey D’s, this was long before that concern was a gleam in Ray Kroc’s eye.

Had to make a few edits when I found some updated information about the first photo.


“Eat in Car” early drive-in at Beverly Boulevard and La Brea Avenue, Hollywood, California 1935. Photo by John Gutmann. The location looks a bit different than the two earlier photos below. This may have been after a remodel.


McDonnel’s at night, circa 1931.


The staff waits for customers, 1931.

Here is a link to a current view o the location on Google Maps.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

Corner Store – Boston’s oldest surviving brick building.


The Old Corner Bookstore.

Some have billed this as the first brick building in Boston, but that fact is in dispute. What is not in dispute is that this is a wonderful relic from years past.

And looking as it does today:


Google Maps search done by /u/MyApplePie


A stereogram of the Old Corner Bookstore taken in the 19th century

“Threatened with demolition in 1960, the building was “rescued” through a purchase by Historic Boston, Inc. for the sum of $100,000.Historic Boston is a not-for-profit preservation and real estate organization that rehabilitates historic and culturally significant properties in Boston’s neighborhoods so they are a usable part of the city’s present and future. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is Boston Landmark under the auspices of the Boston Landmarks Commission.” – Wikipedia

The Old Wolf has spoken.

The Crooked House of Windsor


Lovely historical building, built in 1592, looking like it might have been built by Numerobis:


If you’re an Astérix fan, you’ll know what I mean.

According to Wikipedia, the thing went skeewompus because it was rebuilt with green wood in 1718. Of course, buildings tend to do this over time,


but contractors are always cutting corners:

Leaning Tower of Pisa

I am put in mind of a couple of things:

Terre vasée, Krous, qu’est dément
En y vaquer Krous qu’est d’émail.
Il fondu Krous qu’est de si que se pince,
Agacer Krous qu’est déesse taille
Il botté Krous qu’est de quatre.
Vich côté Krous qu’est de mousse
Année olive tous guetteurs
Déracinés Krous qu’est délit Toulouse.
-Mots d’Heures, Gousses, Rames (van Rooten)


Image from Granfa Grigg Had a Pig, by Wallace Tripp. Some of the loveliest nursery rhyme illustrations I’ve ever had the good fortune to encounter.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

Gordonton, NC – July, 1939



Country store on dirt road. Sunday afternoon. July 1939. Gordonton, North Carolina. Kerosene pump on the right and gasoline pump on the left. Rough, unfinished timber posts have been used as supports for porch roof. Brother of store owner stands in doorway. Photo by Dorothea Lange. Found at /r/historyporn, posted by /u/texanwill.

One family took photos of what this area looks like now, you can see them at Panoramio; photos by coleimage. Below: Country Store No. 2.



The Old Wolf has spoken.

The Original Penn Station, New York City



New York, circa 1911, the original Pennsylvania Station lived for only half a century, ultimate succumbing to declining train ridership and the pressure to build upward.




Another view from Gimbels department store, circa 1910.



The general waiting room



1962, the year before its demise.

Fondly remembered, sadly missed.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

The Mission Inn at Riverside

Just got back from a little junket to California to see an aunt who’s almost 100, and some other friends and relatives as well. One of the things we saw while we were in Riverside, where one of my cousins graciously put us up (and put up with us) for a few days was the Mission Inn, an amazing hotel which made me think of my earlier visits to the Hotel Del in Coronado.

This enterprise began as an adobe cottage called the “Glenwood Hotel,” built by civil engineer Christopher Columbus Miller in 1876, and like the Winchester Mystery House (but a lot more sanely) has just continued to grow. We only saw a fraction of it, but what I saw was impressive. There are multiple wings with multiple flavors – Spanish, Oriental, etc.

Here are a few photos:


Special chair built for President Howard Taft for a conference. Taft’s portrait hangs in the background. He later is said to have remarked “I’m big,but I’m not that big.”


The Steinway Centennial Grand Piano. This piano was crafted as the company’s gift to the USA for the 1876 Centennial celebration. During a national tour, it was somehow “misplaced” – how one misplaces a grand piano is beyond me – but was rediscovered to be the one and only when it was undergoing restoration in the 1980s. Exactly how and when it came to the Mission Inn is unknown, but at the time of its disappearance the hotel was still a simple adobe cottage.


Herculean painting of the California Alps.


Campanero, or bell wall, built in 1903 and modeled after the belfry at Mission San Gabriel. Stairs on the right used to lead to the rooftop gardens of the original adobe building, which was later demolished in 1948 to make room for a swimming pool.


Another view of the campanero.


Restored cannon


The Nanjing bell, an imperial temple bell from the Manchu Temple in Nanjing, China. 3500 lbs, cast between 1875 and 1908. More information is readable on the plaque.


The other side of the campanero.


The internal rotunda. Normally accessible only by guided tour, we happened to be present when someone came out and we slipped in.


The rotunda, looking up. The stairs are structurally out of code, and are usable only by tours. There is a wonderful old elevator that ascends to each floor.


Tiled fountain at the bottom of the rotunda.


The goodwoman of the house, taking a photo of me as I take one of her.


The sky.


Another view of the rotunda.


An iron spiral fire escape in the bowels of the hotel.


Tiled dome visible from the top level of the rotunda.


Another view


This old building on the left is also part of the Inn’s property, but has yet to be restored.

There’s so much more… I’d love to stay there some time, if I could only win the lottery or something. In the meantime, it’s nice to just stroll the grounds and the lobby.

The Old Wolf has spoken.