Welcome to the McMansion, a historical-landmark-designated fast food joint with an air of prestige typically not associated with the golden arches.
Originally built as a farmhouse in 1795, the Long Island property was converted into a mansion for Joseph Denton, a descendent of one of the founders of the town of Hempstead in the 1860s.
But the 19th-century Georgian-style building is now one of the world’s fanciest fast food stops.
The property was almost condemned to the wrecking ball when McDonald’s bought it in the mid 1980s.
Once the home of a descendant of the town of Hempstead’s founders, the Long Island mansion is the country’s most beautiful McDonald’s.
The McMansion in Long Island has become a tourist attraction and social media sensation.
The restaurant’s elaborate interior certainly sticks out among its modern contempories
Customers are in for 19th Century welcome when they visit the local landmark
The fast food giant planned to knock it down and build a more run-of-the-mill restaurant on the site, after spotting a gap in the market for a burger joint in the area, according to Insider.
By that time, the Denton Mansion looked like a model well out her prime.
Its exterior was damaged and boarded up, and the entire building had been in a state of complete disrepair since the end of World War II.
‘When we took over this building, it was a disaster, a real eyesore,’ said McDonald’s New York regional vice president at the time, according to Insider. ‘There were pigeons all over. We had to gut the building, take it down to the rafters.’
The easiest solution would have been to clear the site, but locals and history buffs didn’t go along with that plan and fought a grassroots battle to save the physical building.
In 1988, the building was designated as a historic landmark, so McDonalds restored the building, mimicking the building’s 1920s front outside look, and opened it in 1991.
Computerized order points now sit among the more elaborate Georgian architecture
Inside, stark juxtaposition of a typical McDonald’s operation against the historic mansion makes this one of the most unique fast food joints in the country.
Customers eat in booths in the same building that once housed Long Island royalty.
The Denton Mansion underwent two major renovations under McDonald’s ownership.
The fast food chain made more comprehensible renovations and restorations to the building in 2017 as part of the company’s $6 billion, 359-site modernization effort, according to Insider.
That’s when the company added new furniture, self-order kiosks, digital menu boards and remodeled counters, among other new features.
And the restaurant certainly sticks out among its modern surroundings along the Jericho Turnpike.
Nick Carr, a movie location scout, described its surrounding area as ‘hellish, strip mall-lined highways with traffic lights that are perfectly synchronized to make your travel time as long as possible.’
Carr wrote on Scouting New York that he saw a sign for McDonald’s and didn’t think anything of it.
‘Nothing too special about that, except where the McDonalds should have been, there seemed to be a big white mansion. Maybe it was around back or something?’ Carr wrote. ‘And then I realized the mansion was the McDonald’s. Holy crap.
‘I practically expected a maitre d’ to greet me as I went inside,’ Carr wrote.
But one Twitter user wasn’t so impressed with the restaurant’s inside, saying it looks ‘like a funeral home outside and a retirement home inside.’
When the McDonald’s first opened, it was the 12,000 location in the United States, according to Insider.
As of 2019, there are 13,837 sites in the United States, according to Statista.com.