I recently read in the Daily Herald that a real estate firm was planning on building a bank (just what we need) on the southwest corner of Rand Road and Lee Street in Des Plaines.
They are going to demolish an old hotel. I have no problem with that, but they also have informed our city politicians that they might have to demo the McDonald's museum next door for a parking lot. Big problem.
I moved to Des Plaines in May 1965 and live on the west side of town. Ray Kroc picked the Des Plaines site for the first McDonald's fast food establishment in 1955. I started driving in 1950. Friends would stop there in 1955 and '56 going home from the lakes or some other place.
I also read the corporate offices might want to move the museum to Oak Brook. I say build a replica and leave the original where it's at. It's a neat-looking building with the 1955 cars in the parking lot during the summer. If ever there was a building in Des Plaines that deserved landmark status this is it.
When Ray opened the doors in 1955 I'm sure he wasn't there alone. Whoever worked there from in 1955 are also part of history. The kids today would be 75 years old, and they possibly still live in the area. If there's a way to find out who was on Ray's payroll that summer, they should put up a second plaque with their names and ages at that time.
Most of the adjoining suburbs don't have any icons in their town, but we have the first McDonald's, something to be proud of. I hope our politicians will have sense enough to say, Don't touch the museum.