'Tis the season of graduations, when family and friends gather together to celebrate, feign civility, and dine, usually at an upscale establishment to remind you that this is the last time you'll eat this well in a long while. If you're in New Hyde Park, New York, that place would be the local McDonald's, housed in a landmark Georgian mansion whose structure dates back to 1795.
As told by Scouting NY, the property was first built and owned by descendants of Presbyterian minister Richard Denton, a founding member of the town of Hempstead. It passed down the Denton family and was expanded in 1860 and embellished with period details. Following the first world war, the Dentons sold the main house, which was subsequently converted for commercial use, operating as a funeral home and a string of failed restaurants for the latter part of the century. It had fallen into disrepair by 1985, when it was shuttered and put up for sale.
According to local history, McDonald's purchased the house with the intent of demolishing the structure and replacing it with the fast food chain's ubiquitous drive-through units. Needless to say, the plan failed to win over the townspeople, who lobbied against the proposal and eventually secured historic status for the house in 1987. McDonald's complied, agreeing to restore the property and maintain it as a landmark site. The home was reconstructed to its 1926 appearance based on an archival photograph, save for a single floor addition in the back that functions as the car pick-up outpost. But, don't be fooled by the restaurant's grandeur! Like other similarly bespoke McDonald's locations, you can still find the familiar menu of fries and Big Macs inside.