Saturday, December 19, 2015

Lundy's - Lundy Brothers Restaurant

Black and white postcard of Lundy Brothers Restaurant in 1950
Lundy's Historic Postcard ca. 1950 (image source: BrooklynPix)
Photo of Lundy's main facade from across the street, similar view to historic postcard
Lundy's Today
Neighborhood: Sheepshead Bay
Address: 1901 - 1929 Emmons Avenue

Before I get into the history of Lundy’s I should mention that the historic postcard above was purchased from Brooklyn Pix, operated by Brian Merlis. Should you want a thorough history of Brooklyn Neighborhoods I recommend checking out the series of Brooklyn Books he has co-authored with Riccardo Gomes. Their current book is Brooklyn’s Greenpoint and can be purchased at Word Bookstore in Greenpoint or online.

To see what Lundy's looked like while it sat abandoned visit Sheepsheadbites.com


Perspective photo of side of Lundy's along sidewalk
Lundy's
Restaurant
According to the Village Voice, Lundy’s Restaurant was “the city’s most humongous – and one of the best – seafood restaurants”. The restaurant began as a clam bar but evolved over time to become the largest dining establishment in the country during its peak, employing a staff of 385 people and serving as many as 5,000 meals a day.[1][3] Although the restaurant’s original incarnation opened in 1907 the building that is synonymous with the business was constructed in 1934. The establishment closed in 1981, reopened in 1995 utilizing half its original space and closed again in 2007.[1][2] Today, the building houses an upscale end food market.


Lundy' main facade from across the street
Lundy's
Architecture
The 1934 Lundy Brothers building was designed by architects Bloch & Hesse in Spanish Mission style for restaurateur Fredrick William Irving Lundy (1895-1977).[2][3] Bloch & Hesse architects specialized in restaurant design.[3] The structure’s style was described by the AIA Guide to New York City as strangely appropriate.[2] Upon viewing the building in person, it does somehow feel appropriately designed regardless of its seeming lack of context with the rest of the neighborhood. The Mission Style is more closely associated with California and the Southwest and is rarely seen in the New York metro area. The building encompasses an entire block and features “sand-colored stuccoed walls, low sloping red mission tile roofs, arched entrances, arcuated corbel tables, decorative iron work and leaded glass windows”. Lundy’s is thought to be the last remaining New York City restaurant building associated with the Mission Style.[3]


Panoramic view of Lundy's shot from directly across the street in the middle of the block
Lundy's Panorama

References:
  1. Sietsema, Robert "Five Dead and Gone Classic Brooklyn Restaurants" VillageVoice.com 31 March, 2011
  2. White, Norval, Willensky, Elliot, and Leadon, Fran AIA Guide to New York. Oxford University Press, 2010
  3. Harris, Gale F.W.I.L. "Lundy Brothers Restaurant Building" New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission Report 3 March 1992

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