Dancing on the Moon: Moondance Diner Saved!

From the Committee To Save The Moondance Diner
Michael Perlman, Founder & Preservationist, (917) 446-7775, [email protected]m
Kyle Supley, Preservationist, (518) 436-5167, [email protected]
Daniel Zilka, American Diner Museum Exec. Dir. , (401) 723-4342, (401) 447-3703, [email protected], http://www.dinermuseum.org/ (incl. mission statement)
Vince & Cheryl Pierce, Diner’s new owners, (307) 260-6503

HISTORIC MOONDANCE DINER TO BE SPARED: NYC’s Oldest Extant Diner!

NEW YORK, N.Y. (Aug 1, 2007) – In early August, diner patrons, preservationists, & community groups, will be “dancing on the moon,” as the culturally & architecturally significant Moondance Diner (80 6th Ave, SoHo), will be spared from demolition, and has found a new home. The Moondance Diner will soon be transported to La Barge, Wyoming, near the Green River, where it will serve a population of five hundred plus; a growing tourist industry. New owners Vince & Cheryl Pierce take pride in their new venture in the diner business. Michael Perlman, Queens preservationist & founder of the Committee To Save The Moondance Diner, and Kyle Supley, Brooklyn preservationist, immediately joined forces & campaigned to save the diner, when its fate was in limbo earlier this year. A high-rise condo is slated to rise on premise. Historic preservationist Perlman, urged & worked with Extell Develoment, who generously donated it to the American Diner Museum; the Rhode Island non-profit, and the only organization in the US devoted to the preservation, history, & restoration of historic factory-built diners.

The “1933” Moondance Diner is a highlight in terms of its diverse patronage including celebs, and the motion picture, sitcom, & Broadway world (Spiderman, Friends, Igby Goes Home, Sex in the City, etc). This is also where Jonathan Larson was employed for a decade prior to producing the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, RENT. This railway car-inspired diner, formerly called the Holland Tunnel Diner, retains several original &/or distinctive elements; chrome detailing, a barrel roof ceiling, wrap-around windows, counter & stools, as well as a famed retro revolving moon sign by the late architect/designer Alan Buchsbaum & designer/signmaker Jim Rogers.

According to Daniel Zilka, Director of the American Diner Museum, a true “diner” is a prefabricated structure built at an assembly site and transported to a permanent location for installation to serve prepared food. Webster’s Dictionary defines a diner as “a restaurant in the shape of a railroad car.” The word “diner” is a derivative of “dining car” and diner designs reflected the styling that manufacturers borrowed from railroad dining cars. A diner is usually outfitted with a counter, stools and a food preparation or service area along the back wall.

During the 40’s & 50’s eras, freestanding diners numerously dotted NYC’s 5 boroughs, and brought together individuals of various occupations, in a cozy & personable ambiance. Today, they are becoming an endangered species at an alarming rate. American Diner Museum has assisted in the rescue from demolition more than thirty diners through community awareness.

Please join us for a photo-op, as the Moondance is lifted from its foundation, and transported cross-country to Wyoming.

Moondance Diner Apr 2007 visuals (Courtesy of Michael Perlman):
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/tags/moondance/

Posted Under: Saved, SoHo

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