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The burger museum facing the bulldozers

24 November 2017

Introducing Rakewell, Apollo’s wandering eye on the art world. Look out for regular posts taking a rakish perspective on art and museum stories.

In suburban Chicago, fast food heritage is in peril. As reported in the Chicago Tribune, McDonald’s has announced that it plans to demolish a ‘museum’ commemorating the chain’s first recognisably branded restaurant.

Located in Des Plaines, Illinois, the McDonald’s Store No.1 Museum is a replica of founder Ray Kroc’s first burger joint, which opened in 1955. Although McDonald’s was established in California in the 1940s, Kroc franchised the brand and turned what had previously been a small-fry business into the burger-peddling colossus it is today.

The original building was torn down in 1984, but the replica – which opened the following year – retains its 1950s sign and a host of other historical fittings (and fryers). Its vintage adverts, old milkshake mixers and shiny red and white tiles have made it something of a destination over the years.

Alas, McDonald’s barred access to the museum in 2008 and has now sought permission to demolish it. What a McPickle!

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