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McDonald’s Built a Replica of Its First Restaurant as a Museum. Now It’s Tearing It Down

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The McDonald’s No. 1 Store Museum in Des Plaines, Illinois, which opened back in 1985 as a full-scale replica of Ray Kroc’s first franchise restaurant, will be torn down next month.

McDonald’s announced that the once popular tourist attraction will be demolished next month after excessive floods over the years left officials having to close off public access to the attraction.

“The re-created restaurant… has not regularly welcomed visitors since closing to the public 10 years ago,” McDonald’s said in a statement. “This combined with the building’s location and feasibility to reopen and maintain it led us to this decision.”

While floods barred tourists from entering the building starting back in 2008, visitors were still able to peek through the replica restaurant’s windows to see everything from the old-school red and white tiling of the McDonald’s restaurants of the time, to mannequins in full 1950s attire and original style milkshake machines.

The museum replaced Kroc’s first restaurant that he opened after he franchised the brand from its original owners, Richard and Maurice McDonald, back in 1955. That restaurant was torn down in 1984, and became the new home for the McDonald’s No. 1 Store Museum, still bearing the original sign of the restaurant out front.

The company has not set a specific demolition date, but company officials said they would like to donate the land back to the City of Des Plaines.

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