Rezoned and Repurposed: old house converted to McDonald’s

image from: http://buildabetterburb.org

Yes, this 19th-century Georgian style mansion in Hyde Park, New York is now a McDonald’s restaurant.

It is known as the Denton House and it dates back to at least 1875.

image from: http://www.waymarking.com

The original owners reportedly were descendants of Richard Denton, a Presbyterian minister who arrived in the New World in 1630 and helped to found the village of Hempstead in 1643.

– from: http://www.dentongenealogy.org/mcheritage.htm

The home was built as a farmhouse but it was repurposed as a funeral home in the 1900’s. After that, it became two different restaurants.

image from: http://www.dentongenealogy.org/mcheritage.htm

At present day you can scarf down a Big Mac in the same building where dead bodies were embalmed. That sounds crass, but technically, it’s true.

image from: longislandfood.blogspot.com

Today, only the restored historic shell of the house remains. The interior has been thoroughly renovated into a souped-up McDonald’s with some imitation fancy old house elements:

image from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/chung123/ (author: Chung Chu)

This unique McDonald’s is making history and making the news as well. Scouting NY did a feature on it this past summer and it has been featured recently on other websites as well (here, here and here).

image from: buildabetterburb.org

How did this anomaly happen?

By the early 1980’s the house had fallen on hard times and was in need of extensive repair.

In 1985 the McDonald’s corporation purchased the property with the full intention of tearing down the decrepit home and replacing it with a typical McDonald’s fast food operation. But local residents and preservation buffs fought to keep the historic home intact and were able to have the house designated a historic site. McDonald’s was forced to restore the structure to how it appeared in an old photograph from the year 1926.

image from: http://www.waymarking.com

Personally, I have mixed feelings about this conversion. On the one hand, it’s good to see a community rally to save a historic home and to see the home preserved for posterity and kept in the public domain.

On the other hand… a McDonald’sReally?

image from: http://www.scoutingny.com

It even has a drive-through.

~~~

Sources:

http://curbed.com/archives/2012/09/19/is-this-historic-mansion-the-countrys-loveliest-mcdonalds.php

http://www.scoutingny.com/?p=5458

http://buildabetterburb.org/article.php?aid=189

 

 

 

 

6 Comments

  • Serena H. says:

    Shaking my head – WTF???? A mcdonalds inside a historic home?? who comes up with this stuff?

  • HA says:

    totally sacraligious!!!!! shame on them for allowing a McDonald’s
    to sell their junk food at such a classic estate.

  • Christopher Stoney says:

    A similar McDonald’s exists in Freeport Maine. Apparently in 1982 they purchased an 1850’s Greek revival house with the intention of demolishing it to build one of their typical restaurants. When they were made aware of how much people valued the historical character of their community, they opted instead for restoration and repurposing.

    The “McDonald’s” name is modestly painted on the front door lintel, and the McDonald’s logo with the golden arches is painted on a window next to the parking lot entrance; apart from that there is no indication from the outside that this house is anything other than a well kept historic residence. Inside, of course, it is just like any other McDonald’s except for some appropriately elegant interior details.

  • Flo says:

    This is in New Hyde Park, not Hyde Park

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