Gut it? No Way.

Do you ever browse the New York Times real estate section slide shows? I find them endlessly entertaining, whether it’s for the purpose of gazing at beautiful houses I’ll never afford, gawking at monstrosities that I would never want to afford or own, loving historic, rehabilitated or renovated houses in neighborhoods across the country, or just feeding general curiosity of what homes look like on the inside. So when a slide show entitled “In Need of Some Work” appeared for apartments in New York, it sounded interesting. There is an accompanying article, “For the Right Price, the Right Fixer-Upper” by Elizabeth A. Harris (1o.30.2009).

As I’m reading the captions and looking at the photographs I saw some less-than contemporary improvements like wall-to-wall carpeting and wood accordion doors. There were some wonderful features like 1930s sinks and tile bathroom floors. Classic. But, wait – those captions kept referring to the kitchens and bathrooms needed to be gutted. What!? Sure, the kitchens needed to be upgraded in terms of appliances, but why get rid of a sink full of historic character and definition? Take this statement from slide 24, “The kitchen, which also looks “prewar,” needs a total overhaul.” Excuse me? Why is “prewar” given the connotation of something horribly out of style? Some people like that look. I would love a prewar kitchen.

And I’m not saying that everyone has to love that. Maybe some people like those accordion doors, too. That’s great because we all have different tastes. But why is there this judgment on everything just because it’s old? Call it a fixer-upper, but don’t assume that everyone will want to toss away the prewar kitchen or the bathroom floor. See, how cool is that prewar kitchen? Check it out at Levittown, PA: Building the Suburban Dream.

modern

The "Prewar" Kitchen

Right Place at the Right Time

If we had tried to find them, we wouldn’t have. On a trip out to Calverton, NY my family and I stopped to eat lunch at J&R’s Steakhouse (a Long Island restaurant). Previously there had been a little village of shops behind the restaurant, mostly antique shops and boutiques. Now, the small dollhouse looking buildings remain empty and overgrown with weeds. However, one antique shop & art gallery is still open, so we went to wander in there. When I walked in my dad showed me that he found a set of six bowls from The Lido Club Hotel in Long Beach, NY.

The Lido Hotel in 1942.

The Lido Hotel in 1942.

The Lido Club Hotel opened in 1929, attracting stars of the day and their guests.   Its history includes serving as Naval Receiving Station, closing during WWII, and suffering under poor management. According to “Toasting an Icon of Lido Beach’s Golden Era” by Marcelle S. Fischler (October 3, 2004, The New York Times), the hotel officially closed in 1981 (after many struggles and ups and downs) and was converted to condominiums. The Lido Club Hotel is now the Lido Beach Towers. The grand days of Lido-Long Beach had faded and its former pink stucco is now gray, though the building retains its Moorish style.

The Lido Club Hotel

The Lido Club Hotel

To most people these restaurant ware bowls wouldn’t mean much, but to my family they are significant. The Lido-Long Beach-Point Lookout area is where my grandmother lives and where my father and my uncle grew up during the summers. My father worked at the Lido Hotel one summer as a valet parker and driving a shuttle bus between the resort and the golf course. He remembers driving some fancy cars. Plus, we love all things related to Point Lookout and the history of that small piece of Long Island.  The price tag on the plates read that they were from the Lido Hotel in Long Beach, NY and were $9.95 each.  Now, if just the price tag said Lido Hotel, I might not have believed it, but the bottom of the bowls read “Lido” and one said “Lido Club Hotel.” We loved them. As we were mulling over a purchase, the owner came down from the gallery to tell us that he was closing in about one month and would make anything a very desirable price for us. Bingo! He sold us the bowls for 50% off the asking price.

A bowl from the Lido Club Hotel.

A bowl from the Lido Club Hotel.

Close up view of the pattern.

Close up view of the pattern.

Another close up view of the pattern.

Another close up view of the pattern.

We are thrilled to have these pieces, but the next step and the hard part is trying to find information about the pattern and looking for additions to our new collections.  There are five bowls with the red writing on the back and one with the green writing.

The back of the bowls. Lamberton China - Lido - Nathan Straus & Sons - New York.

The back of the bowls. Lamberton China - Lido - Nathan Straus & Sons - New York.

The back of one of the bowls. "Royal Schwarzburg - Germany - Made expressly for Club Lido Hotel - Long Beach, L.I. - By Nathan Straus & Sons - New York."

The back of one of the bowls. "Royal Schwarzburg - Germany - Made expressly for Club Lido Hotel - Long Beach, L.I. - By Nathan Straus & Sons - New York."

An internet search isn’t much help and Nathan Straus & Sons only appears on Replacements, Ltd. but not with the Lido pattern. I would like to find out more about the pattern and if any pieces exist anywhere else. I would assume that everything was auctioned off when the hotel was closed, so the restaurant ware could be anywhere.  Can anyone help with finding more information, determining the age, learning about the company, or any other relative information?