McDonald’s + Historic Preservationists= Circa 1795 Georgian-style Burger Joint (UPDATE)

So, this really exists.  An 18th century farmhouse (dating to 1795) that is now a McDonald’s restaurant on Long Island in NY.

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

“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):



  1. by Brian Malone, on 05.31.12 @ 3:59 PM


    Very cool. A similar story with the McDonald’s in Freeport, Maine.

  2. by Michael@HHB, on 05.31.12 @ 5:50 PM


    @Brian…Thanks for sharing that! I’ll have to post it!

  3. by Robin O, on 07.17.12 @ 5:44 PM


    Great story & photos!
    I shared your blog post on twitter (and would love more followers)!

  4. by Michael, on 07.19.12 @ 3:24 PM


    Hi Robin…..Thanks for sharing my link about the historic McDonald’s! I’ve followed you on Twitter, so you have at least one more follower!

  5. by fritidshuset rungsted, on 09.27.12 @ 2:01 AM


    wonderful post, very informative. I ponder why the opposite experts of this sector do not realize this.
    You should continue your writing. I am sure, you’ve a huge readers’ base already!

  6. by McDonald’s Historic Preservationists= Circa 1795 Georgian-style Burger Joint (UPDATE) « historical tales, on 11.07.12 @ 8:44 AM


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  7. by 15 Locations that McDonald's should have Left Alone, on 12.19.12 @ 12:56 PM


    […] of locations. It’s unnecessary,” said one local resident. Photo credit here and here. 8. A Saxon House in Hameln, Germany. Picture credit here  9. Yangshuo, province of […]

  8. by Trish @TheOldPostRoad, on 02.07.13 @ 2:43 PM


    I came to comment to tell you about the one in Maine! I was glad they saved the ‘shell’, but it was 90% mcdonald’s inside. ugh. Glad they saved it, though!

  9. by Michael @ HHB, on 02.09.13 @ 10:27 AM


    Hi Trish!

    Yes, I figured that was the case with the interior of the building. But in that case, like you, I’m at least glad they saved the building, which maintains at least some “sense of place” in the area — which is more than can be said for most McDonald’s buildings!


  10. by McDonald’s Historic Preservationists= Circa 1795 Georgian-style Burger Joint (UPDATE) | historical tales, on 03.10.13 @ 8:46 AM


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