As ScoutingNY reports, McDonald’s apparently bought the neglected house in the mid-1980s with the intention of tearing it down to build a new McDonald’s. Historic preservationists intervened, got the farmhouse declared a landmark, and this was the result. Whether you see this as a positive thing because the house was preserved & reused (like I do), or whether you instead feel angry that McDonald’s gutted a cool historic property to house its vats of oily french fries (mmm….french fries), there is no denying that McDonald’s worked within the preservation restrictions to create a remarkably unique restaurant.
The house was apparently renovated in the Georgian Revival style to reflect it’s appearance in the early 20th century. Make no mistake. . . the old stuff inside is long gone. But that said, McDonald’s still created a pretty cool interior (for a McDonald’s) with a grand double staircase and an exposed “post & beam” atrium. Check out a bunch more photos here at ScoutingNY.com.
“I’m Lovin’ It.”
UPDATE: Thanks to reader Brian Malone for pointing out that there is a similar “old house McDonald’s” in Freeport, Maine! (I should have known New England would have one somewhere). I did a little research, and apparently this Maine restaurant is inside an 1850s Greek Revival colonial (and apparently a former sea captain’s house). The story is amazingly similar to the Long Island McDonald’s — McDonald’s bought the house in the early 1980s and was preparing to raze it to build a new restaurant. Community members & preservationists intervened. The result was the historic-house-restaurant you see below. This one is apparently a bit more quaint than the Long Island version — smaller, with something akin to “rooms,” a fireplace, and even dining room-like chairs. See a few pics below, including people I don’t know who are posing in front of pic 1.
Exterior 2 (drive-thru visible):