From the Duke University OAAA collection.
The Overlea Diner, for me, is one of the high points of the last generation of diner building Design-wise, it looks original, like something that would roll out of a New Jersey builder in the mid 1950s. It isn’t wildly over the top, in scale or detail. It doesn’t seat hundreds. It isn’t mirror finished with a two story glass brick vestibule. It isn’t “retro”, it isn’t “nostalgic” it just is what it is, and leaves it at that.
The current diner bearing the Overlea name was built in 1992 by Musi. It replaced a prewar diner, which can be seen in the postcard. Going from photos hanging in the diner (which unfortunately I did not have a chance to photograph), the diner was entirely encased at some point, making it all but unrecognizable for what it was.
It burned down and was replaced by what you see today. The floor-plan is somewhat unusual, with the kitchen on the right hand side of the diner, the counter on the left and a brick dining room off the back. It burned, and was replaced by the stainless model currently gracing the lot.