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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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).
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.
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’s? Really?
It even has a drive-through.