Chicago, John Hughes, Travel

Walking in John Hughes Footsteps: Movie Locations & Addresses

A few months ago, my husband recommended a fun tour of these homes this summer for several of his co-workers who were John Hughes’s movie fans. We had mapped out a route, where we were going to make stops, tee-shirts, and even music.
 
Then came the coronavirus and we’re not sure when or if this will happen. But as we approach birthday week, I wanted to re-share this post, which is one of my favorites. Mike and I had a lot of fun researching for this post, and we generally go back to these places during birthday week. 
 
It will have to be virtual this year. 
Reblogged on April 24, 2020

First published August 3, 2015


 
Back in January, I wrote a story for Chicago Parent on John Hughes, including addresses such as his former home, the cemetery where he is buried, and his favorite pizza restaurant.

Then, one late May night, my friend Jen and her boyfriend George were wandering the streets of Lake Forest, Illinois looking for any and all things John Hughes-related.
They were frantically searching Google for my Chicago Parent John Hughes post for exact addresses so they could pay their respects at his grave, drive-by his former mansion, and eat a slice of his favorite pizza.
Mind you, this was after 9 p.m.
Mad props for trying to find ANYTHING in Lake Forest after dark besides deer and rich people.
They couldn’t find anything since, as I later discovered, my piece was buried on page five of a Google search.
Thank you, Chicago Parent.
They gave up and went home, John Hughes-less.

This saddened me.

No one should ever go home John Hughes-less.


 
My friend later suggested I create a post with all the John Hughes addresses in one convenient location.
You could go to IMDB, Google and a plethora of other movie fan pages to find the information I am providing, but that takes a significant amount of time and effort, especially if you are in the car traveling about the Chicago area.
 
I should emphasize that while I reference “Chicago” in the graphic below, I am not visiting the film locations in the city of Chicago proper but rather the Chicago suburbs. He has a few filming spots in the city, but most of his settings are in the suburbs, therefore that is what will focus on in this post. 

 
 
John Hughes Movie Locations and Addresses Chicago
 
 
 
Disclaimer- I’m not disclosing any new information or invading anyone’s privacy. The addresses listed here are freely available online and are in the public domain. To those who are using this as a guide to create your own tour- please respect the current homeowner’s property. Simply stop, take a picture, and move on your way. Do not enter the property, do not ring the doorbell, and do not, for God’s sake, inquire as to whether Jake Ryan is home. He doesn’t live here. 

So without further ado, I present to you my guide to the Chicago area John Hughes movie tour!
My husband and I ate a lot of fried food and ice cream, listened to months of 80s New Wave, watched hours of John Candy, Matthew Broderick and Judd Nelson, and drove a lot of miles all in the name of research.

 

 
Lake Forest, Illinois
John Hughes Grave, John Hughes, Lake Forest
 
 
I begin our journey by paying tribute to the man behind all of this.
John Hughes’s grave is in Lake Forest Cemetery, which is right on Lake Michigan.
This isn’t a tourist trap; rather a place to reminisce and reflect.
This is also within a residential area, so please be courteous.

It is also difficult to locate on GPS.

The address is listed as Lake Road in Lake Forest.
The cemetery itself is located at the north end of town, at the end of a long road.
If you can’t find it after three tries, take it a sign from Mr. Hughes himself.

As you enter the cemetery, follow the first lane on the left, and his grave will be the first grave on your right.

*Nancy Hughes died in September of 2019 and is now buried there as well. You may read about her life in this beautifully written obituary.


The mansion where Mr. Hughes and his family lived until his death is the second stop on the tour.
It’s at 855 E. Westminster in Lake Forest, right down the street and around the corner from the cemetery.

John Hughes Lake Forest Mansion

You won’t be able to enter the property, but you can catch a glimpse of the property as you drive by.
Vist this page to read about my tour of this house when it was offered up for charity.

John Hughes Lake Forest Home

Nancy Hughes donated this property to Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital.
They then used the money from the sale of the property to help fund the construction of a brand new hospital, which is set to open in 2016.

2019 update: 

This wing is right around the corner from my neurologist’s office within Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital.


Remember when I told you about John Hughes’ favorite pizza? A New York Times interview with his oldest son, John III, revealed that his dad was a regular at Coal Fire Pizza at 1321 W. Grand Avenue in Chicago.

Locals will tell you that he also enjoyed the downtown Lake Forest location of Ferentino’s Pizza which is located at 842 Western Avenue. We have eaten at this spot numerous times over the years and have always enjoyed it.


John Hughes Home

As we leave Lake Forest and head south, we’ll pass through Highland Park, where many scenes were shot.
If you grow hungry and decide to forgo Ferentino’s, stop in Highwood, which is located halfway between the two towns, as there are some fantastic restaurants there.
Buffoslocated at 431 Sheridan Road,is our favorite.

Highland Park, Illinois

We begin by visiting Jake Ryan’s house from the film Sixteen Candles.
Think Anthony Michael Hall trapped within a glass coffee table.
Because the roads in this neighborhood are highly congested due to its proximity to the lake, I would recommend visiting during the day so that it’s safer to drive and safer for the residents.

John Hughes Sixteen Candles Jake Ryan House

 

 

John Hughes Sixteen Candles Jake Ryan House

Speaking of Sixteen Candles, here is a good article: Long Duk Dong: Last of the Hollywood Stereotypes? : NPR  I, like most everyone else, loved the character Long Duk Dong in 1983, but he hasn’t aged well, and we need to have an open conversation about it. 


Another familiar movie house, located at 370 Beech, is only five minutes away
Cameron’s residence in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
Also known as the house where Cameron’s father’s automobile crashed through the glass to the ground.

John Hughes Ferris Bueller House Cameron
It had been on the market for many years but just sold in 2014 for a little more than a million dollars.
 
John Hughes Ferris Bueller Cameron House

My father-in-law, who provided security for several John Hughes films, was present on the day they filmed that iconic scene. He was a police officer in Highland Park at the time, and has so many interesting stories.

While filming, those placards up above, were used on the cars on the streets. Obviously, Risky Business wasn’t a John Hughes production, but my father-in-law worked security on the set of that film, as well as many others that aren’t listed.


My father-in-law, circa I have no idea.

 


Returning to the tour, go to 1200 Linden Avenue to visit Gary’s house from Weird Science.

John Hughes Weird Science Gary House
John Hughes Weird Science Movie Location
 

It’s obviously been updated, and it’s also rather lovely.
Sorry for the tree SMACK DAB in the middle of the house.
I’m not comfortable standing in the middle of the street photographing someone’s house.

Deb’s house from Weird Science, 1150 Linden, is just a few houses down. 

John Hughes Weird Science House

Sorry for the close-up; it was raining and I didn’t get out of the car, so I had to crop off the rearview mirror, but you get the concept.


Glencoe, Illinois

Continue south to Glencoe, where you will find the church featured in the second to last scene in the film Sixteen Candles.
The church is located at 263 Park Avenue.

Sixteen Candles church movie location

Samantha stood on the steps near the brown door, gazing out to where Jake was standing.

Sixteen Candles wedding church

And this is where Jake was standing, resting against his Porsche.

Sixteen Candles movie site

We were almost stopped by a cop for loitering, so I hope you enjoy this photo.

Jake Ryan street
 
Sixteen Candles church

It’s a lovely church, isn’t it?


Winnetka, Illinois

Winnetka, just south of Glencoe, is the stop on our journey. Home to two locations on our John Hughes tour, but I only visited one on this trip.
I didn’t look into the other location until I got home, but if you’re reading this on your phone while touring, you should definitely stop at both.
First, go to Ferris Bueller’s mom’s workplace, also known as Koenig and Strey’s real estate office, which is located at 583 Chestnut Street in downtown Winnetka.
After you’ve taken a photo there, proceed to one of the town’s most popular attractions: The Home Alone residence.
The address is 671 Lincoln Avenue.

I had never been here before, but evidently everyone else had since when we arrived there was this:

 
Home Alone Movie Location
A fence around the front yard. 
 

This house was up for sale a few years ago and, of course, everyone knew it was “the” house.
As far as these residences are concerned, they are marketed on the internet as The Home Alone House” and as easy as one might think they would be to scoop up on the real estate market, they are not.
They sit.
And sit.
And sit.

Home Alone House

To be sure, a large part of the reason is that they are expensive. Millions of dollars are at stake, and in Illinois, taxes are exorbitant. However, many people are reluctant to live in a house where they know people will drive by on a daily basis to take pictures, possibly wander on the lawn, or (don’t do it), ring the doorbell. 

Home Alone House John Hughes

It was a quiet Wednesday morning at 10 am the day we visited, and only two other cars were driving suspiciously slowly while taking pictures. In addition, the street depicted in the film is not the same street where this house is located. This street is very narrow. Keep in mind that if you stop and stare at the house, you might easily become a traffic nuisance. 

2021-07-18 00.02.12

 

606 Green Bay Road is the address of the grocery store where Kevin shops in the film Home Alone. This is a fun location to visit because you can actually go inside, although it looks nothing like it did in 1991. 


Kenilworth, Illinois

 

IMG_5707


If you’re in the area, you can visit house depicted at the end of Planes, Trains & Automobiles at 230 Oxford Road in Kenilworth. 

Sidebar- there are four other John Hughes filming locations in and around the Chicago region for Planes, Trains & Automobiles. 

Courtesy/WGN TV

 

The “Braidwood Inn” which was supposed to be in Wichita, Kansas, is actually in Braidwood, Illinois just outside of Joliet. If you don’t have time to stop, you can view it along Interstate 55. In recent years it has been known as the Sun Motel, synonymous with prostitution and drug raids.

The motel’s address is 140 South Hickory Street in Braidwood, IL.


 

IMG_5704

The El Rancho Motel, which Del and Neal’s rental car slammed into at the end of the film, is located at 36355 North U.S. Highway 41 Gurnee, IL. There is a funny story regarding this place as it is now, which you can read at the bottom of this post.

Woodstock, Illinois is the location of the courthouse scene in which Del and Neal are picked up by the semi (also known as the filming location of the movie Groundhog Day). The courthouse is located at 101 North Johnson Street.


And the scene in which they arrive in Chicago and board an elevated train (the “el”) takes place at the LaSalle/Van Buren CTA station, which is located at 121 West VanBuren Street in Chicago.

Image result for lasalle van buren cta station
Courtesy/Wikipedia

Okay, back to the tour…

Wilmette, Illinois

 

2021-07-18 00.19.00 


Lovely little Wilmette is home to a few filming locations. Located at 1024 Lake Avenue in Wilmette, is Trinity United Methodist Church. Also known as the Home Alone Church. 

And this school:

Romona Elementary School, Wilmette, Illinois - August 2018 | Wilmette, IL  Patch

Courtesy of Patch

Is most famous for the mean principal that Uncle Buck told to get a rat to chew her wart off her face. The school is Romona Elementary School and it is located at 600 Romona Road.


Evanston, Illinois

Let’s leave the Winnetka/Kenilworth area and travel south to Evanston.
Home to Northwestern University, as well as two key John Hughes film locations: Samantha Baker’s house from Sixteen Candles and the house featured in Uncle Buck.

The first stop is Uncle Buck’s house at 2602 Lincoln Avenue

Uncle Buck House John Hughes

 

It appeared smaller in person, despite the fact that the house is enormous. 

 

Uncle Buck House Evanston

 

It’s interesting how homes appear on screen versus when you see them in real life. There’s a life lesson in there. 

Uncle Buck House

Sidebar- I miss John Candy.


Next we will head to Samantha Baker’s house at 3022 Payne Street,

That will take you ten minutes. 

Sixteen Candles street

As you travel down Payne Street, drive slowly and take a good look. Does it look familiar? 

That street is where the opening scene to Sixteen Candles was filmed. 

And the house used for Samantha Baker’s is located at 3022 Payne. 

 
Sixteen Candles House
Samantha Baker’s home current day.
 

She's Having a Baby (1988)

Courtesy of IMDB.com 

IMG_5713

 

She’s Having a Baby, a lesser-known John Hughes film, is one of my favorites. Hughes composed the film as a love letter to his wife. I explained in detail in this post. The house that Kevin Bacon and Elizabeth MacGovern lived in on screen is located at 56 Salem Lane

 

This next leg definitely calls for The Breakfast Club soundtrack and you’ll have plenty of time to jam because you’ll be taking the Illinois Tollway and up to the Northwest Suburbs and heading into the imaginary town of Shermer, Illinois.

Northbrook, Illinois

The first destination will be Northbrook, which was formerly known as Shermerville in honor of former inhabitant Frederick Schermer. So John Hughes wasn’t making things up; Shermer, Illinois did exist. In fact, all over Northbrook, there are signs of Shermer.

Shermer Road
Graeters Ice Cream

It’s nothing new to suburban Chicagoans, but to someone who doesn’t live here but enjoys John Hughes’ films, this is fairly cool.


IMG_5732

Begin your Northbrook tour at the house where Anthony Michael Hall stops in Sixteen Candles to videotape his time with the blonde in the Rolls Royce.
The address is 1411 Sycamore Lane.
The school where they filmed the famous underwear scene is down the street and you will most likely pass by it on your way to the house on Sycamore. 


IMG_5728

Next we go to the location of the party scene in Uncle Buck, where Buck Russell pulls out the drill out to scare his niece Tia’s boyfriend Bug. That is located at 2224 Crabtree Lane. 


John Hughes high school

Next up is Glenbrook North High School on Shermer Road.
John Hughes attended this high school and he used Glenbrook North insignia in several of his films, including tee shirts, folders, binders, jackets, and the like.
He also used the GBN colors, green and gold, for the Sixteen Candles high school.
Look for the GBN emblem in Hughes’ films, particularly in the opening credits of Sixteen Candles.
GBN was also used as the high school seen when Mr. Petersen (aka Ferris) picks up Sloane outside of the school. 

2021-07-18 01.53.50

Take Sherman Drive to Greenview Road, as you are leaving Glenbrook North High School. That’s where they shot the scene in which Ferris, Cameron, and Sloane speed away to downtown Chicago. 

IMG_5716 (1)

 

Since you’re already in the neighborhood, go to Butternut Drive. That’s where they filmed the scenes at the end of the movie when Ferris is racing through the yards to get home faster.  

 


After exiting GBN’s parking lot and turning left onto Shermer Road, you should see the following: 

Save Ferris water tower in distance
 
 
 
Save Ferris Water Tower Northbrook

To some who drive by this every day, it’s simply another water tower.

Save Ferris water tower Northbrook Illinois
 
But to John Hughes’ fans, it’s something special. 
 
 
 
Save Ferris Water Tower 2015
 

The SAVE FERRIS water tower.


Save Ferris was painted over many years ago. 

There was a campaign to …wait for it…save the Save Ferris water tower.
The village of Northbrook was going to demolish it in 2011 because they were planning to build a new water tower to save money and address water pressure issues.
The village was on the verge of demolishing it, but nostalgia won out thanks to the internet. 
When the rest of the world learned that THE Save Ferris water tower was on the verge of being destroyed, it didn’t sit right with Ferris Bueller fans everywhere, and after a campaign, the water tower remains standing. 


Sixteen Candles clip (Bus ride home from school) - YouTube

Courtesy of YouTube

The bus stop scene from Sixteen Candles comes up next. Remember when the bus came around the corner and you could hear chaotic kazoos playing from the open windows? This also occurred in Northbrook. 1225 Cedar Lane, to be exact, across from the Northbrook Village Hall.

2021-07-18 02.43.19

To recreate the scene, get your kazoos out. 

No, for real. 

Then take neighboring Center Avenue east until it stops at Cedar Avenue. You will then turn north onto Cedar, and the bus stop will be located when you reach the Village Hall.  

End scene! 


Head to the Northbrook Public Library and sit on the John Hughes memorial bench to get the best view of the water tower.

 

The infographic is fantastic, and the view is even better.

The bench is located in the library parking lot and may be accessed by entering this address in your GPS: 1201 Cedar Lane.

Sidebar- I believe we should launch a new campaign to have Save Ferris repainted on the water tower. 


By the way, there is an incredible ice cream shop right around the corner from the water tower that my husband and I have visited far too many times since I started this cool endeavor.

Graeters Ice Cream Northbrook

Graeter’s is located in downtown Shermer, er, Northbrook.
Get some ice cream, walk to the water tower, soak up all the positive energy, and just be.
Graeter’s can be found at 1347 Shermer Road.

You got your ice cream fix while also saving Ferris.
It’s time to throw your fist in the air because you’re about to head to a big filming location. 
The high school featured in The Breakfast Club.


Des Plaines, Illinois

Set your GPS to the following address: 
9511 Harrison Street Des Plaines
It will lead you to the former Maine North High School, also known as Shermer High School.

But this is no longer a high school. 

Illinois State Police Headquarters

It’s now the headquarters to the Illinois State Police.

Breakfast Club High School

You can’t go inside or you’ll wind up in handcuffs.
Unless it is your thing, in which case, go for it.
Bender would be very proud of you.

By the way, you can read about how I broke into The Breakfast Club high school here.

Shermer High School

 

So here is where a bit of debate lies; most people, including myself, assumed that the field scene in which Bender gives the fist pump at the end of the film took place at the field across the street from this former school.

Here:

field across the street from Breakfast Club high school

Others believe it occurred at the aforementioned Glenbrook North High School, which is named in the credits. However, that school was solely used for interior shots.

(Edited in 2020- Thank you to reader Laura who pointed out that the actual field was at Maine South High School, which is about 15 minutes away from here. Thank you SO MUCH, Laura! I love it when I get these tips! I did, however, leave the rest of this ending in because I am too lazy to go down to Maine South High School, so this will have to suffice).

What is next to Maine North High School currently?

Lake.

Big Lake.

I couldn’t resist.

No, worse.

townhomes

Townhouses.
I mean, if you wanted, you could recreate the fist pump scene.

next to high school from Breakfast Club

Just be careful not to trip over the trash cans on garbage day. Which happens to be Wednesday, for inquiring minds.


field from Breakfast Club?

But then, we drove around to the back of the townhouses and ….


Breakfast Club end scene location

……I could almost picture it.


Courtesy of a screengrab

 


So there you have it! If you know of any additional John Hughes movie locations in the Chicago area that I missed, please let me know in the comments. 
For more John Hughes-related posts, head here
For my John Hughes Museum post, head here

Appendix
Since this post has been so popular, I’ve added some other sites to visit in the Chicago area. These didn’t fit in the body of the post, so I thought I would include them here. 
Have fun! 

Uncle Buck Forest Preserve Scene with Tia and Bug – Dam #1 Woods East- Wheeling, Il. 
 
 

31 thoughts on “Walking in John Hughes Footsteps: Movie Locations & Addresses”

  1. O.M.G.! Love this post! You have made my John Hughes tour so easy! I’ll be making lots of these stops! I’ll post back w/a special picture I’m sure you’ll LOVE! Stay tuned…

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  2. Great article Kari ! Massive Hughes fan, infact , class him as a hero of mine. Its all nostalgia when I think of John and watch his movies (repeatedly!) I’m from London, England, so I always found it rather endearing that John was a huge fan of 80’s Brit Pop, New Romantics, New Wave, Synthpop etc etc! Using many British artists for the soundtracks to his timeless movies. Hughes, like Candy, was taken from us way too soon, its people like us Kari, that keep their spirits very much alive.

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    1. Amen to ALL of this.
      I love 80’s New Wave more now than I ever did IN the 80s!
      I appreciate your comments, Simon.
      It validates my John Hughes obsession. 🙂

      Like

      1. Amen indeed ! I really feel for anyone who isn’t a Hughes or an 80”s fan ! How can they possibly be living complete live’s, without these two elements missing! More power to us I guess! I think I’ll end my evening with a slice of Plane’s, Train”s & Automobiles! 😉

        Like

  3. Oh , I know this isn’t anything to do with Hughes , but maybe if you ever get a free day , you could research another great movie that was set in Chicago! The best rom com of the 80’s ( for me anyway) the 1986 movie About Last Night! Starring Rob Lowe, Demi Moore, James Belushi & Elizabeth Perkins. I reckon you love that movie too!

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    1. You have a great point because there were so many great movies filmed in Chicago (Risky Business, Ordinary People…..).
      I will work on that, thank you for that suggestion!

      Like

  4. Great summary! (Note: Glenbrook North acronym is GBN to the locals. Sister high school, Glenbrook South, is GBS.)

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  5. Do you know the address of the house in Northbrook John lived in while he was there? Can’t find that anywhere….

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    1. OH MAN…I used to have this address written down on a post-it note for over a year waiting for a time to go down and see it. I Googled it to try and find it again and no luck. I do think I read it in the book You Couldn’t Forget Me If You Tried written by Susannah Gora. I also know he had a farm in Hebron, Illinois as well as a home in Williams Bay, Wisconsin. I’ve never seen an address for the Wi. property but have a map of the area of the Hebron farm on my phone camera roll if I ever get out that way.

      Like

  6. You are for sure, without a doubt the biggest John Hughes fan E.V.E.R. Impressive research and sweet photos. I could google it, but it seems more appropriate to ask an expert: What did John Hughes die of and when and how old was he? How many kids did he have? Go, you -my private Wikipedia-like friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I actually had to Google his age! I knew once but forgot. He was 59 and had a heart attack while visiting NYC for the birth of his grandson, which is so sad.

      He had two sons, one of which lives in Chicago and is a writer. ❤️

      Like

  7. Wait, did you reblog this? Or did Feedly throw it my way because I hadn’t read it when you first posted it? Either way, I love this post. It feels more like a scrapbook and a guide, but I love that it serves as both. I don’t love John Hughes, and I hate to say that on your blog, but I do love the way that you love him and experience him. Don’t get me wrong, some of his movies are in my list of classics that I love, but I love that there is this other side that you’ve shown me that goes beyond my experience.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi! Actually the ending scene of The Breakfast Club in the field was shot at Maine South Hogh School in Park Ridge! 🙂 just 10-15 mins from the old Maine South.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. LOVE your post! Do you know of or would you consider doing John Hughes Tour or Home Alone Tour in 2021? My 8yr old son loves Home Alone and knows every word. Would love to go 🙂 Please advise.

    Liked by 1 person

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