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Auto Museum Moves to Save McDonald's Historic Site

McDonald's museum, Des Plaines, Illinois
McDonald's museum, Des Plaines, Ill. / BWChicago photo

​The McDonald's museum in Des Plaines, Illinois, has faced repeated flooding problems and been closed for 10 years, but people were nevertheless disappointed to read in the news last week that the company planned to demolish it next month. The museum is on the site of the first McDonald's built by Ray Kroc after he franchised the brand from brothers Richard and Maurice McDonald, the original owners of McDonald's.

After hearing about the planned demolition, the Volo Auto Museum, in the town of Volo, Illinois, reached out to McDonald's corporate to suggest saving their museum by relocating it to Volo for display in the auto museum.

A museum with a penchant for nostalgia hopes to relocate the Des Plaines McDonald's museum some 30 miles northwest in an effort to save it.

The Volo Auto Museum -- a repository for classic cars, jukeboxes and neon signs -- reached out this week to McDonald's corporate brass after the hamburger chain announced plans to demolish the 32-year-old replica of its first franchised restaurant in Des Plaines.

…"We'd sure like to have a part of it there, rather than seeing it disappear," Brian Grams, Volo Auto Museum's director, said of the local roadside attraction at 400 Lee St. in Des Plaines. — Christopher Placek, Daily Herald

Des Plaines officials had earlier expressed an interest in preserving the site, but McDonald's executives said they were unwilling to relinquish control because of the need to protect their brand, according to Placek in an earlier article.

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