Former Lundy’s, Sheepshead Bay’s only landmark, gets ‘thumbs down’ for new lighting proposal
Former restaurant building is the only city landmark in Sheepshead Bay
Let there be light.
But don’t do it by cluttering the building’s facade.
That’s the message the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) sent the landlord of the only city-designated landmark in all of Sheepshead Bay.
The property in question is the F.W.I.L. Lundy Brothers Restaurant building at 1901 Emmons Ave.
A company called Lundy’s Management Corp., with Steve Pappas as a partner, controls the now-defunct restaurant’s former home through a long-term net lease.
On Tuesday, at a public hearing at the city preservation agency’s Lower Manhattan headquarters, NSC Architecture proposed the addition of numerous sconce light fixtures on the facade of the stucco Spanish Colonial Revival building and the replacement of sconces that are already in use.
“The existing light fixtures, … like all previous modifications to this building, were installed without permits,” Patrick Waldo of the Historic Districts Council said in testimony at the hearing.
“There’s such an accumulation of detritus [on the facade] at this point, the building is secondary,” Commissioner Michael Devonshire said during a discussion of NSC Architecture’s proposal.
Commissioner John Gustafsson said there was so much exterior lighting proposed for Lundy’s, “it’s more of a stadium than a restaurant.”
Ultimately, in its vote, the commission instructed Lundy’s Management Corp. to remove most of the sconce light fixtures that are already on the building instead of adding new ones, and to position proposed light poles in a parking lot so they’re set back from the building’s rear facade.
The commission also gave 1901 Emmons Ave.’s landlord permission to replace retractable awnings on the building’s windows with fixed awnings.
In testimony during the hearing, Steven Barrison, president of the Bay Improvement Group, said the fixed awnings could be hazardous during storms.
In a separate vote, the commission approved the legalization of work that Lundy’s Management Corp. initially did on the waterfront building without LPC permits, which the landlord later modified according to the preservation agency’s instructions.
Because there had been a public hearing last year about these LPC permit violations, no public testimony about them was allowed on Tuesday.
One million meals per year in its heyday
Legendary Lundy’s holds a special place in Sheepshead Bay’s history.
In its heyday, the iconic shoreline seafood restaurant served 1 million meals per year.
The restaurant is gone, and the building that lives on is currently occupied by upscale grocer Cherry Hill Gourmet and two restaurants.
The F.W.I.L. Lundy Brothers Restaurant building was designated as a city landmark in 1992. According to the LPC’s designation report, it was designed by architecture firm Bloch & Hesse and built in 1934 for Frederick William Irving Lundy.
Late in life, wheelchair-bound Lundy lived in an upstairs apartment at 1901 Emmons Ave. with 14 Irish setters. He died in 1977.
In 1981, swindlers were convicted of robbing the restaurateur of $11 million in stocks, bonds, money and real-estate deeds in the final months of his life — including the deed to Lundy’s.
After his estate recovered the Emmons Avenue property, it was sold in 1981 for $961,860, city Finance Department records indicate. In 1988, that owner sold it to its current owner, Sheepshead Restaurant Associates Inc.
Sheepshead Restaurant Associates Inc. later net-leased 1901 Emmons Ave. to Lundy’s Management Corp.
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