McDonald's to Tear Down No. 1 Store Museum

The McDonald's No. 1 Store Museum in Des Plaines, Illinois, a replica of Ray Kroc's first franchise restaurant, will be torn down next month. The world's largest burger chain made the announcement Monday, claiming that excessive floods and declining visitors have led to the decision, the Chicago Tribune reports.

"We have decided to permanently close the replica of McDonald's first franchised restaurant and hope to donate the land to the City of Des Plaines," McDonald's said in a statement. "The re-created restaurant … has not regularly welcomed visitors since closing to the public 10 years ago. This combined with the building's location and the feasibility to reopen and maintain it led us to this decision. This property in Des Plaines will always have a special place in our company's history."

The museum, an exact replica of Kroc's first franchise restaurant, opened in 1985 after the original restaurant was torn down the year prior. It bears the original sign of the restaurant out front and became a popular destination for tourists eager to see the red-and-white tiled restaurant and mannequins dressed in 1950s attire. Repeated flooding barred tourists from entering the building starting in 2008, but that didn't prevent people from peeking inside the windows to catch a glimpse back into time.

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The company has not set a specific date for the demolition. They plan to remove and preserve anything of historical value and will donate the land back to the city of Des Plaines.