Landmark status for Falafel Palace building?
The 68-year-old building that houses Moody’s Falafel Palace in Central Square is being considered for landmark status because it is an early example of a fast hamburger joint.
The Cambridge Historical Commission voted unanimously last week to study this one-story building that once hosted the White Tower restaurant, one of a national chain of restaurants known for cheap burgers through most of this century.
While Tower restaurants were built in the 1920s and remained in urban areas nationwide through the 70s, said Charles Sullivan, executive director of the Cambridge Historical Commission.
The Cambridge restaurant, which looks like all the other White Towers of that time, has 450 square feet of space and a white brick facade. It was built in 1932, but Sullivan said he does not know how long White Tower stayed in that spot.
The restaurant’s facade was upgraded in 1938 with a porcelain enamel surface, which was taken off about 10 years ago by the building’s owners, Michael Simon and Frank Colannino.
The chain was started in the 1920s and the building is “significant in terms of early history of franchise fast food, “ said Sally Zimmerman of the historical commission.
The white brick was intended to convey cleanliness and the fact that all the White Towers were the same was meant to convey safety and reliability of food.
“It’s an example of a national kind of icon in Cambridge,” said Zimmerman.
- Amy Miller