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McDonald’s plans to raze Des Plaines replica restaurant

The McDonald's museum at 400 Lee St. in Des Plaines. | Gilbert Boucher II / DAILY HERALD

For years, the golden arches and neon “Speedee” road sign at 400 Lee St. in Des Plaines have served as a roadside attraction and reminder of the suburban roots of what’s become the world’s largest hamburger chain.

But as early as next month, the 32-year-old replica of McDonald’s first franchised restaurant will be demolished, company officials confirmed Monday. The original 62-year-old sign will be removed first, but its future is still unclear.

The company plans to donate the land, where founder Ray Kroc opened his first McDonald’s walk-up restaurant on April 15, 1955, to the city.

With its iconic golden arches, the replica building was constructed in 1985 according to Kroc’s original blueprints. It had operated for years as a museum, featuring original kitchen equipment used at the first McDonald’s, including grills, a hamburger carousel where burgers were prepared, a hand-operated french-fry peeler, and a wooden barrel dispenser that contained syrup for Coke and root beer.

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