McDonald's tearing down museum on site of first restaurant

McDonald’s announced on Monday that it will demolish a replica of the first-ever McDonald’s restaurant in suburban Chicago.

The replica stood on the site of Ray Kroc’s first McDonald’s in Des Plaines, Ill., which opened in 1955. Considered somewhat of a “museum” to McDonald’s, the site was a popular tourist destination after opening in 1985. The restaurant that stood on that site had been torn down in 1984, the same year as Kroc’s death, the Chicago Tribune reported.

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According to McDonald’s, the museum saw less and less traffic after barring tourists from entering the space in 2008 due to repeated flooding, though visitors were still allowed to peek into windows and take photos.

“The re-created restaurant … has not regularly welcomed visitors since closing to the public 10 years ago,” a company spokesman said in a statement, via the Tribune. “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 spokesman added that the company hopes to donate the land to Des Plaines after razing the museum next month.

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Ray Kroc had originally built the Des Plaines restaurant after franchising the brand from Richard and Maurice McDonald. The Chicago Tribune reports that it was actually the ninth McDonald’s restaurant in the country, but considered by the company to be the birthplace of the modern McDonald’s.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.