Landmarks approves changes to historic Lundy’s

Landmarks approves changes to historic Lundy’s
Photo by Jon Farina

Sheepshead Bay’s lone landmark — the historic Lundy Brothers Restaurant Building — is getting a makeover with new canopies, awnings, and lighting.

The Landmarks Preservation Commission greenlighted most of the proposed upgrades, including switching out retractable awnings for fixed ones, but some locals fear a blustery wind could knock them down and so the owners should stick with awnings that could easily be put away in advance of a storm, said the president of the Bay Improvement Group.

“I am not sure why they would need or want fixed awnings, which can easily become a hazard in storms or high winds, which happens with increasing frequency these days — especially higher wind gusts,” said Steve Barrison during a public hearing on July 11. “Retractable awnings offer several benefits, not to mention safety, we just lived through it with Hurricane Sandy.”

Lundy’s, which was built in 1934 and once served fresh seafood to more than 2,000 hungry guests, went out of business in 1979. A smaller iteration of the restaurant opened again in 1995, but owners officially closed its doors for good eight years later. The Landmarks Preservation Commission designated what was once the country’s largest eatery as an official landmark in 1992.

Now, another restaurant and Cherry Hill Gourmet Market operate in a portion of the massive building between Ocean Avenue and E. 19th Street.

Owners of the Spanish colonial revival building proposed two new domed canopies to match the aesthetic of the existing ones on Ocean Avenue, all of which will be red, new pole lighting in the rear parking lot, wall mounted sconces around the whole building, wall wash lighting on the E. 19th Street annex, and the different awnings. The commission signed off on the majority of the application during its public hearing, but rejected the light fixtures in between every window, said a spokeswoman for the city agency.

Barrison also opposed the owners’ choice of colors for the awnings — red and white — because he said they resemble a candy-striped costume more than the original character of the historic building, he said.

“They should be the authentic wine and green colors that they were just as when they reopened in 1995,” said Barrison. “This carnival candy stripe is like some tourist-hokey thing down south.”

An architect representing the building’s owners said the fixed awnings will be able to be tucked away in advance of a big storm, and they are looking into changing the colors to be more representative of historic Lundy’s, said Teresa Byrne from the firm NSC Architecture.

The Landmarks Preservation Commission signed off on the needed permits for the approved work, said the agency spokeswoman.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Color correction: Architects for the owners said they are open to changing the awnings’ color scheme from the current red and white to the wine and green colors they had when the restaurant first opened in 1934.
Photo by Jon Farina

More from Around New York