The historic Moondance Diner, located in Soho on Grand and Broome, might soon be demolished to make room for a high rise condominum—per an earlier Curbed post, that would be a 66,734-square-foot residential building with ground floor retail by Extell's Gary Barnett. Today, Eater received an impassioned plea from someone looking to save the landmark:
My name is Michael, 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. I would highly appreciate your assistance in any way possible. As you may know, 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. 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."
· Diners for sale [Diner Museum]
· A Not So Wonderful Night for a Moondance [Curbed]