The 50th Anniversary restaurant will take Ray Kroc’s original 1955 red and white design - along with some 21st century innovations - to create “a landmark destination for tourists and city residents,” according to Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley.
“The goal was to transform the original roadside architecture of the first red and white into a modern and relevant brand icon,” says Dan Wohlfeil, McDonald’s director, worldwide architecture, design and construction. “50 years of innovations, such as the drive-thru and McDonald’s operational excellence, obviously create significant change in building design, which make this more than just retro, it’s classic-esc.” It has sloping front glass as in the original, but this glass spans 30-foot in height. Where you would have walked up to order in the original restaurant, those now are the doors to enter into the building.”
“The restaurant has all the architectural component’s of the original but reinterpreted into a modern structure.” says Wohlfeil project designer and team lead. “Compared to the original 26-foot arches illuminated with neon, the two 60-foot arches in the front actually support the roof structure, and are externally illuminated reinforcing our brand identity in a sculptural manner. The sloping glass is state-of-the art point supported glass fins, with 2-inch insulated glazing. This allows our customers completely unobstructed views of the city skyline.”
McDonald’s began to revitalize Chicago’s 21 restaurants in 2003 at a cost of $16 million. Overall, the company remodeled 700 restaurants in the United States in 2003 and 1,500 in 2004. This flagship restaurant is not something customers will see in other McDonald’s locations, however. “This,” says Wohlfeil, “is a celebration in honor of McDonald’s 50th Anniversary.”!