Historic Diner Needs a Home to Escape Demolition

Campaign To Save NYC’s Oldest Diner (Moondance):
In Urgent Need of Vacant Lot For Transport

My name is Michael Perlman, and I am a preservationist who is launching an effort with the American Diner Museum, to spare NYC’s oldest extant diner, the Moondance Diner (ca. 1933 or earlier) from the wrecking ball. The diner is located in SoHo at 80 6th Ave at Grand St & Broome St. Freestanding diners are becoming an endangered species. The community, the museum, and diner fans & preservationists are very concerned as a result of the new wave of redevelopment in NYC. The diner is slated to be demolished sometime this May for a high-rise condo in its place. We feel that time is of the essence!

I am working directly with the owner, Sunis Sharma, but the burden is finding a vacant lot to transport it to & at a reasonable price. He would consider moving it anywhere throughout the 5 boroughs. This shares common fate with NYC’s Munson Diner, which was thankfully rescued and transported upstate in 2005. On a side note, other buildings that were moved include the presently landmarked Seaman Cottage in Staten Island, the landmarked Kingsland Homestead House in Queens, and the AMC Empire Theatre on W 42nd St. Freestanding diners were manufactured to move, and were erected on site in one piece.

The Moondance Diner is a highlight in terms of its diverse patronage including celebs, & the motion picture, sitcom, & Broadway world (Spiderman, Rent, Friends, Igby, Sex in the City, etc). The diner was renovated over time, but retains several original and distinctive elements; chrome detailing, a 1920’s barrel roof ceiling, wrap-around windows, counter & stools, and retro signage. During the 40’s & 50’s eras, diners numerously dotted the landscape of the 5 boroughs, but today survivors are few and far between. NYC is renown for its dining, Art Deco architecture, and the diner which brought together individuals of various occupations, contributing to a culturally and architecturally significant “icon.”

**Would anyone happen to know of any vacant lots or a neighborhood in need of a diner? I would appreciate your input tremendously!!! Here is some additional documentation on the American Diner Museum’s website, and some photos:

http://www.dinermuseum.org/dinersforsale/dinersforsale.php

More interior/exterior shots:
http://www21.flickr.com/photos/brianmcgloin/373959158/

http://www21.flickr.com/photos/brianmcgloin/424675612/

http://www21.flickr.com/photos/brianmcgloin/382344228/

http://www21.flickr.com/photos/finkangel/389326069/

http://www21.flickr.com/photos/goggla/422536482/in/set-72057594112690778/

http://www21.flickr.com/photos/dontink/84603847/

http://www21.flickr.com/photos/bhell13/138369272/ (3 illuminated exterior at night)

http://www21.flickr.com/photos/tonyhoffman/118597424/ http://www21.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/436732789/

Let’s work together to salvage a relic!!! Please contact [email protected] with recommendations on vacant lots and advice.

Thank you,

Michael Perlman

Posted Under: Alert, SoHo

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