The site of the first McDonald's restaurant, the village of Des Plaines is located 17 miles northwest of downtown Chicago and covers approximately 16 square miles. With a population of almost 57,000, the town boasts low property taxes, a new state-of-the art library, many recreational opportunities, excellent public and private... Show all »
The site of the first McDonald's restaurant, the village of Des Plaines is located 17 miles northwest of downtown Chicago and covers approximately 16 square miles. With a population of almost 57,000, the town boasts low property taxes, a new state-of-the art library, many recreational opportunities, excellent public and private schools, and a revitalized downtown business district. Nicknamed the "City of Destiny," Des Plaines was founded in 1835, and named for its location on the river of the same name. The original McDonald's restaurant is long-gone, but across the street on Lee Street sits the McDonald's #1 Store Museum.
A re-creation of the first McDonald's restaurant, which was opened on April 15, 1955, the museum was built according to the original blueprints, and contains original kitchen equipment, mannequins dressed in the typical 1955 uniform, and a large collection of historical photos, early advertising
and other memorabilia. The museum is open during the summer months, and admission is free. An actual operating McDonald's restaurant is located across the street from the museum. The village offers a wide variety of housing choices including split-levels, bungalows, ranches, and contemporary high-rise condominiums.
The year 2000 signaled the beginning of extensive revitalization of Des Plaines' downtown area. That year, the town opened its doors to a modern library on Ellinwood Street. The 80,000 square-foot library features extensive collections of fiction and non-fiction books, a mobile library that visits schools and parks, and a homebound delivery program for persons unable to visit the library.
Currently under construction in the village's downtown area is the construction of Metropolitan Square, a new downtown redevelopment project that will be anchored by a 40,000-square-foot Shop & Save Marketplace grocery store, an additional 56,000 square feet of retail space, 22,000 square feet of office space and 136 condominium and loft units.
The town boasts an excellent school system including numerous public and private primary and middle schools, Oakton Community College, Main West High School on Wolf Road, various private high schools, and a branch of DePaul University. In their leisure time, residents can visit two golf courses operated by the Des Plaines Park District and take some of the many courses offered by the Park District; spend a day at the Rand Park and Mystic Waters Aquatic Center; or do some shopping in downtown Des Plaines or at nearby Randhurst Mall in neighboring Mount Prospect.