Thursday, March 22, 2012

#DestinationFridays: The Ferris Bueller and More Tour of Chicago

We all can relate to the teen focused, John Hughes movies of the 80's and 90's. Some of Hughes' great films include Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, and Home Alone. Seeing the latest Honda commercial with Matthew Broderick on Superbowl Sunday this year reminded me of all the great Chicago locations where these movies took place.

Brett DiDonato, creator of the stock broker review site Online Broker Review, first had the idea to locate some of these famous filming locations, when he was planning a visit to Chicago back in 2009. "I started to do some research and I realized many of the most recognizable sites from my favorite John Hughes films were scattered around the city and nearby suburbs. With a little internet digging, I was able to locate many of the sites and reenact some of the most memorable scenes "

Armed with a google map, local addresses, and approximate locations, DiDonato was able to turn his photos into this amazing compilation. Here are some of his favorite sites, all of which can be visited in one day, by yourself or with a group of friends. You'll need a car (Cameron's Dad's Ferrari is optional) once you leave the city, so plan on renting one for the day even if you don't need it for the rest of your visit. Also, be sure to bring print outs or have the links easily accessible on your phone so that you can compare the then and now.

Downtown Chicago

Starting in the heart of the city, you can cover some of the major sites from Ferris Bueller's Day Off. These are all within walking distance or a short taxi ride away.

1. Sears Tower - 233 S. Wacker Drive. From the movie.
Now called the Willis Tower, if your nerves allow, go out on a ledge! The Sky Deck is located at 1,353 above the city.

2. The Art Institute of Chicago - 111 S. Michigan Avenue.
Be sure to see all of these great works of art starting with the Lion Statues out front, The Red Armchair by Pablo Picasso, Georges Seurat's A Sunday Afternoon, and Chegall's America Windows. Some of the paintings may have been relocated, so don't hesitate to ask if you can't find a particular piece.

3. The Flamingo Sculpture - Corner of Dearborn and Adams. From the movie.
Not a lot more to see, snap a quick picture and let's keep it moving!

The North Shore - Wrigleyville, Winnetka, and Glencoe
Although you can take the Red Line up to Clark and Division and Wrigleyville, it is easiest to pick up a car now so you can easily continue further north up to Winnetka and Glencoe immediately afterwards. Here we'll see sites from Home Alone, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, and Sixteen Candles.

4. "Chez Quis" and Wrigley Field - 22 W. Schiller Street and 1060 W. Addison Street. From the movie.
Don't plan on stopping for lunch at Chez Quis, as this was always a private residence. Even if the Cubs aren't playing, it's worth a few minutes to stop and have a look around Wrigley Field.

5. The Home Alone House and Downtown Winnetka. 671 Lincoln Avenue, Winnetka and Corner of Chestnut and Elm, Winnetka
Recently sold for just over $1.5M, the iconic Home Alone house is one of the major tour highlights for me. You just can't resist taking a quick picture! Two minutes across the street is downtown Winnetka, which is the location of Mrs. Bueller's Real Estate Office, which is still there and a real life real estate office.

6. Glencoe Beach and Glencoe Union Church. Glencoe Beach at Park Avenue, Glencoe and 263 Park Ave, Glencoe
A worthy site in its own right, Glencoe Beach is the spot where Cameron went catatonic in Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Just up the street is Glencoe Union Church, where Sam and Jake had that first real moment in Sixteen Candles.

Shermer aka Northbrook
Our third and final area location is the fictitious Shermer which is based on Hughes' hometown of Northbrook, located in the northern suburbs of the city. Shermer is an actual road name used throughout Northbrook.

7. Formerly Main North High School 9511 Harrison Street, Des Plaines
Our first location from The Breakfast Club, Shermer High School was seen in the very beginning of the movie. Today it is a police station and looking eerily run down.

8. Glenbrook North High School 2300 Shermer Road, Northbrook
Two great scenes were shot at Gleenbrook North High School. The first is from Ferris Bueller's Day Off where

Mr. Rooney and Sloane are waiting for Ferris and Cameron as seen here which is actually the entrance to the Performing Arts Center. Further behind, is the football field from the final scene in The Breakfast Club fists high! The scorebox on the bleachers has been built up, but otherwise remains the same.

The next time you visit Chicago, looking for an alternative to the typical tourist attractions and love these classic films, the John Hughes Tour of Chicago is for you.

Cheryl Reynolds
College Girl to Working Girl

1 comment:

  1. I absolutely LOVE that you did this. A friend and I (she's from Oregon, I'm just up the road in Wisconsin) toured all the locations in October. We even did a tribute on John Hughes' grave, including 16 birthday candles, a Cap'n Crunch sandwich, and a toothbrush that we were not sure had been approved by the American Dental Association (Home Alone). So nice to see we are far from alone in our dorkiness!