While the burger giant has announced plans to tear down the first restaurant Ray Kroc launched, the Volo Auto Museum is trying to save the historic building
McDonald’s so-called No. 1 Store is at risk from being demolished
When Ray Kroc opened his first McDonald’s restaurant in Des Plaines in 1955, it marked the beginning of a new era of franchising. From this single Illinois site, Kroc grew the brand until it had over 7,500 global stores by the time of his death in 1984. While the original building was demolished in the 1980s, McDonald’s realised the value in preserving the historic landmark and built a replica of the burger joint on the same location. However, this milestone in franchising history is now under threat of being demolished once and for all unless a group of enthusiasts can save it.
Even though the so-called No. 1 Store stopped serving food a decade ago, the original Des Plaines restaurant’s Golden Arches – complete with Ronald McDonald’s predecessor: the mascot Speedee — are still a popular object for tourists to snap photos off. Nevertheless, McDonald’s has decided to demolish the building due to flooding and because it believes the restaurant is unlikely to ever be reopened. Having announced these plans on Monday last week, the fast-food franchise stated that it planned to donate the land to the city, according to Daily Herald.
Fortunately, it seems as there may still be hope to save the restaurant. The Volo Auto Museum has reached out to McDonald’s enquiring about the possibility to relocate the building to the car museum’s lot. Commenting on the idea, Volo Auto Museum wrote on Facebook: “We have been contacted by numerous residents about the closing and demolition of the Des Plaines McDonald's Museum with pleas to save it and relocate it in Volo. We love the idea. We’ve reached out to McDonald's headquarters hoping there is an agreement that could be made. We’re hopeful they will contact us with enthusiasm to work a deal with us.”
While it’s still unclear whether or not McDonald’s shares the museum’s excitement, it’s great to see this willingness to preserve this important landmark of modern franchising.