Building Description Walter's Hot Dog Stand, Mamaroneck New York
Walter's Hot Dog Stand, built in 1928, is located on Palmer Avenue in the village of Mamaroneck in southern Westchester County. Mamaroneck is a waterfront community on Long Island Sound between the village of Larchmont and city of Rye. Palmer Avenue is parallel to the Boston Post Road (US 1), which is the main road along Long Island Sound between New York City and Connecticut. The neighborhood is primarily residential, but directly across the street from the stand is the Mamaroneck High School. The rectangular lot containing the stand is approximately 225 feet wide and 325 feet in depth. The stand is close to the road, and there is parallel parking along the curb. The sign in front is not original. Driveways on both sides of the stand lead into the rear of the property where there is a parking area. From the parking area, another drive loops up a rise to a large frame multi-family residence. Directly south of the stand is a group of picnic tables that were added in the 1970's. The property contains numerous mature deciduous and coniferous trees as well as a large variety of shrubs.
Walter's Hot Dog Stand is a rectangular building and is one-story in height, with a prominent steeply pitched hip roof clad with copper tiles and elaborate Chinese inspired ornamentation. The flashing is of lead. The building has a stone and concrete block foundation which is not visible on the southeast, or front, elevation, but is fully exposed on the rear elevation, as the property slopes down at the rear. The roof deeply overhangs the building and at the four corners are copper dragons that curve upward. Large copper lanterns hang from the dragons on the front two corners of the building. Across the front of the roof is a built-in gutter. There is an elaborate decorative copper crest along the ridge of the roof which has a stylized carp on each end.
The front of the building has three large rectangular openings in the upper half of the wall and a panel of black ceramic tiles on the lower half. Dentils decorate the cornice under the roof overhang. The openings have rolling metal security shutters that coil up into boxes. There were originally three multi-paned windows that slid up into the ceiling. These are still in place, but permanently in the up position. Windows, both sliding and double-hung, were added in the late 20" century. A shallow stainless steel counter runs the length of the building at the bottom of the windows.
The south elevation has a shallow wing that projects from the rear two-thirds of the building. It has a curved copper roof, a single door on the front, and two small casement windows, one for each of the two bathrooms inside. The door has a circular window and accesses the public restroom. Patrons used to be buzzed in by staff. Another single door leads into the kitchen. It is a modern replacement of what was originally a Dutch door. The original wrought-iron railing by the doors is still in place. As the ground slopes down to the rear, more of the foundation exposed and there is an entrance to the basement below the second bathroom window.
The rear (west) elevation has two hipped dormers in the roof, with a brick chimney rising between them. There is another entrance to the first story, a small deck, and one window in both the basement and first story. Across the south half of the building is a frame addition with a shed roof and two doors. This was added in the 1970's for storage and does not contribute to the significance of the stand. On the north elevation of the building is the cider press platform and doors leading into the basement where the cider equipment was located. From the cider press platform is another entrance into to the building, with a replaced door. A closed-up window was added in the 1960's as a serving window when Walter's sold custard.
The interior of the building contains various kinds of grills, refrigerators, freezers, stainless steel counters, and cupboards. The so-called "frontline" area, across the front of the building, is where the orders are taken and where the hot dog and rolls are fried, assembled, and served. The walls and ceiling are enameled metal panels. The ice cream room has ceramic tile walls. At the rear of the building is the roll room, a staircase to the basement, and a pull down ladder that accesses the attic. Also, there is a door into what was originally the female employee washroom. The interior of the public washroom, which is accessed from the exterior, offers a surprise. There are two toilets sitting side by side with no divider.
The large frame multi-family residence at the rear of the property is two-and-one-half stories in height, with a fully exposed basement on the east side, a steep hip roof with prominent chimneys, and an open wrap around porch on the first story. Purportedly built in the 1880's, it evidently was damaged by fire and was remodeled by the Harrington family over the years.