GLASS HOUSE RESTAURANT, VINITA, OKLAHOMA, 1962
Gracefully spanning the Will Rodgers Turnpike in Vinita, Oklahoma, this is the world’s fastest drive-thru, the Glass House Restaurant. The fine folks at Conoco Oil brought us this miracle of modernity in 1957. It was the first restaurant constructed over a United States public highway and the simple solution to cater to motorists passing in both directions. The term “roadside architecture” doesn’t apply here. It’s not on the side of the road. It’s over the road. And why did they call it a house? It’s much more like a bridge.
Not only did the place offer gas, gifts and good food, there was a great show too. Imagine the thrill of dining on a Yankee Pot Roast or Virginia Ham dinner while being entertained and amused by a constant parade of sparkling cars speeding to and fro below.
The ultra unique attraction was a big hit with tourists. Soon locals started hanging out. Local high schools even held proms there. As the years passed and America’s appetite for fast food increased the wonderful Glass House closed, only to reopen as “the world’s largest McDonald’s.” Yes, the arches are now “golden arches” that are painted that warm and familiar shade of “golden” yellow. So the next time you have a Big Mac attack this is where you’ll want to satisfy your craving. And, oh-yeah, don’t forget to have them super-size it!
Here’s to you — and the Glass House Restaurant!