Skip to content

Every Drive-in Public Market Ever

Here’s the dataset on figshare¬†with every drive-in market location we’ve found.

There are some crazy things at play:

  • Archival web crawling
  • Open history data
  • Past-current collaboration
  • Drive-in public markets

If you’ve read my article on Seattle’s drive-in public markets, you know that¬†Richard Longstreth’s book was basically the only reason I knew anything about this building type or how to research it. His book is the only reason anyone knows anything about drive-in public markets.

I had a few questions when I was done writing, so I dropped him an email. I wanted to know if Seattle was normal, or if it was significant that there were drive-in markets outside of California. Not only did he respond with surprise that they were so far afield, but he said he had a spreadsheet of every location known to him in LA, greater California and the southwest. It was stuck on 20 year old storage media (floppy disks!).

Luckily for us, though, it also was hosted for a few years on the nascent website of the Society for Architectural Historians. With Professor Longstreth’s permission I have rescued the list from the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine (captured from 1999 through 2004), turned it into a data sheet, added details of the 7 markets I know of in Seattle, and posted it as open data to figshare. Although I have been communicating with Longstreth of 2016, I feel like I’m collaborating with Longstreth of 1999, itching to share the story of drive-in public markets with the world.

What does “open data” mean? It means you can do whatever you want with the list, just give credit to Richard Longstreth and Rob Ketcherside. Map it. Consider it in contrast with your own datasets. See how it compares to the list of Long Beach chain grocery locations that was posted to this week. Whatever crazy idea you come up with is perfect.

I hope you are inspired to help, though. There are holes in the dataset. If you have something to share, drop me a line and I will integrated it in. And if you know of or suspect the location of a drive-in public market in your own community, why are you not sending an email right now to us?? Look up on the top right of this page for my email — he’s at .

Oh, here are the acknowledgements included with the original article. These folks helped build out details of the original 293 known stores. Now we’re up to 300 with the Seattle stores.

Special thanks go to the late Tom Owen and also to Carson Anderson, Lauren Weiss Bricker, the late David Cameron, the late David Gebhard, Megs Merriweather, Mary Jo Winder, and Robert Winter for contributing to this list.

Get your name on the new list.

To kick things off, I’ve gone through and filled in the current status for eight stores that previously had an unknown fate. Two of them still exist:

Built as the Zurcher Bros Drive-In Market, this is line 240 in the dataset. Currently subdivided into a number of businesses for Hispanic professionals (notary public, accountant, etc).
Built as the Zurcher Bros Drive-In Market, this is line 240 in the dataset. Currently subdivided into a number of businesses for Hispanic professionals (notary public, accountant, etc). Image Google Maps.
Built as Zahn's Drive-In Market, now Moon's Market and a Manhattan Beach landmark
Built as Zahn’s Drive-In Market, now Moon’s Market and a Manhattan Beach landmark. This is line 192 in the dataset. Image Google Maps.

I’ll keep a running list of updates to the dataset below this point, just like I do over on my set of street clocks in Seattle.

Content Updates


1999 SAH webpage data. 7 Seattle markets. Added current status of 8 previously blank markets.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *