McDonald's announced plans to demolish its 'No.1 Store' -- but an auto museum could save it

Mark Matousek / Business InsiderAn auto museum may save the replica of McDonald’s ‘No. 1 Store’ after the chain announced plans to tear it down.

  • The Volo Auto Museum said it hopes to move and restore the replica of the first McDonald’s restaurant that Ray Kroc opened after signing an agreement to franchise the brand.
  • McDonald’s had announced plans to demolish the building and donate the land.
  • The building had served as a museum commemorating what the chain refers to as its “No. 1 Store” before its interior was closed in 2008.

Just four days after McDonald’s announced it would tear down the replica of Ray Kroc’s first restaurant in Des Plaines, Illinois, the Volo Auto Museum said it has reached out to McDonald’s in an attempt to relocate the building, according to the Northwest Herald.

Located about 26 miles from the Des Plaines building, the museum hopes to move and preserve the entire structure, but it has also raised the possibility of acquiring and showcasing artifacts from the building.

Known as the “No. 1 Store,” the Des Plaines building is the first location that was built after Ray Kroc signed an agreement with McDonald’s original owners, Maurice and Richard McDonald, to franchise the brand. The restaurant was in operation from 1955 to 1984, the year Kroc died.

The building was then restored as a museum before the interior was closed in 2008 due to repeated flooding. Given that McDonald’s did not have plans to reopen it, the chain decided to demolish the building and donate the lot to the City of Des Plaines, according to the Chicago Tribune.

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