New Hyde Park, NY -- While driving down Jericho Turnpike in New Hyde Park, you can see shopping centers, gas stations and a McDonald's.
However, this is not just any McDonald's. Welcome to the McMansion, a two-story historical landmark that serves hungry customers in an elegant setting.
This treasure may date as far back as 1795, and once served as the farmhouse of Joseph Denton, a descendent of Rev. Richard Denton, one of the founders of the town of Hempstead, New York.
As time passed, New Hyde Park boomed with businesses and new developments, and the mansion had a number of other uses before falling into disrepair.
The community was adamant about keeping the historical structure after the McDonald's Corp. took interest in the location around 1985. McDonald's eventually agreed to restore the mansion and place the restaurant inside of it, rather than demolish the property for a new building.
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"Prior to 1991, it was a dilapidated house in a very much vacant lot," said current owner and operator Jack Bert, who purchased the McMansion in 2013 after the first owner retired.
Kathy Meyer has been a loyal customer of the McMansion from its beginnings in 1991 as the 12,000th McDonald's restaurant.
"It's beautiful inside where you can picture that a family did live here at one time," Meyer said. "It's a wonderful historical thing of New Hyde Park to preserve."
One of the most memorable sights is the mansion's grand staircase, which you can't miss when you walk in.
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"There is nothing traditional about how this store lays out," said Bert as he walked through the drive-thru with cars lined up around the opulent house.
Even the Golden Arches sign is discreet, and does not overshadow the grandeur of the mansion itself.
"It makes us very proud that we are maintaining the integrity of the building the way the founding fathers would have liked us to," said Bert.
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