Everything You Want to Know About the 'Warm and Menacing' House in the Original 'Home Alone'

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Home Alone House

For movie fans, the brick suburban residence featured in the 1990 movie Home Alone is almost as familiar as Macaulay Culkin's adorable mug from the beloved holiday flick. Directed by Chris Columbus, the family-friendly film was an instant box-office bonanza, raking in a whopping $476.7 million—and to this day, many families make the movie a part of their holiday traditions, revisiting the McCallister house that 8-year-old Kevin vowed to save from two burglars intent on ransacking the place.

The Home Alone script was written by iconic '80s filmmaker John Hughes, who set most of his movies in Chicago and its North Shore suburbs. (The film was even released in Chicago six days before it debuted in the rest of the U.S.) So when it came time to shoot Hughes' screenplay, the production naturally scouted locations in the Chicagoland area—and soon found the perfect house to play the role of the titular home.

“We needed to cast a house that would work for the stunts and also a house that was visually appealing and, if this makes sense, warm and menacing at the same time,” Columbus said in a 2015 interview. “It's the kind of house, if you were a kid, it would be fun to be left home alone.” Columbus snapped a few shots of the dwelling's exterior and sent them to Hughes, who called it “perfect," and added, "This is exactly how I imagined the house.

Related: Merry Christmas, Ya Filthy Animals! Take This Quiz to Find Out How Well You Remember Home Alone

While Disney+'s 2021 Home Alone remake, Home Sweet Home Alone, is set in a different, much swankier manse with a cast of all-new characters, the original and now-iconic abode from the original movie is still a place remembered and loved by fans. In fact, LEGO even makes a $300, 3,955-piece building set that lets you put together your own mini replica of the residence, complete with a backyard treehouse, the burglars' decoy plumbing and heating van, and more!

If you've always wanted to know more about the Home Alone house, keep reading to find out where the owners of the residence went when filming happened, the film which gave away the private home’s real location, the house’s unexpected connection to the sitcom Friends—and how you might be able to stay there for a night!

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Where was Home Alone filmed?

The Home Alone house is located in Winnetka, Illinois, about 16 miles outside of the Windy City, and most of the film was shot in that area. The home itself was used for its brick exterior, although the movie also used interior shots in the living room and the foyer’s now-famous grand staircase.

However, the Winnetka house wasn’t big enough to use for all the interiors. “It was far too small to get the crew in the door," Columbus once explained. Instead, many of the interiors of Kevin’s home were shot at New Trier Township High School, an abandoned school in town. The filmmakers built a two-story set inside the gym.

The film crew also shot scenes just outside the house. “We couldn't afford to build the exterior of the house on a sound stage, so all of those stunts that happened outside of the house happened at night. We would be shooting from like 5:30 at night to 6 in the morning,” recalled Columbus.

For other scenes, the production crew used local places to shoot. For instance, Santa’s workshop and the grocery store scene were filmed in Winnetka, while Kevin purchased his own toothbrush at Winnetka's real-life Hubbard Woods Pharmacy. The church Kevin visits in the movie is actually two churches: the exterior shows a church from a nearby Chicago suburb called Wilmette, while the interiors were done in Oak Park. Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport was used for all the airport scenes—including the ones in “Paris!"

Where is the Home Alone house and what's the address?

The Home Alone house—which, according to Zillow, boasts six bedrooms and six baths, is located at 671 Lincoln Avenue in Winnetka, Illinois.

Can you visit The Home Alone House?

For decades now, people have visited the “Home Alone House” on Lincoln Avenue. “Most people who live on the street love it, and think it’s a lot of fun,” one nearby resident said in 2019. “It was a big deal having the movie filmed here, and it’s still a big deal. Any time I’m walking by that house, I see someone out in front, taking pictures.” As you can imagine, traffic picks up during the Christmas season when the movie takes place.

Can you spend the night in the Home Alone house?

Not this year! In December 2021, Airbnb listed a one-night stay in the actual Home Alone house. According to the listing, Kevin's big brother Buzz—whose role in Disney+'s Home Sweet Home Alone remake found him growing up and becoming a security expert—will serve as your "host."

"Many Christmases ago, the McCallisters went to Paris–well, most of us," the listing (purportedly written by Buzz) reads. "Though we’re older and wiser now (I’ve even got my own security firm), we’re never too old for holiday hijinks. So while we’re away on vacation (all of us, this time), I’m inviting one crew of mischief makers to let their inner 8-year-olds run free in my childhood home."

Unfortunately, that was a one-time-only event and the house is not available for regular rentals.

Where does Home Alone take place?

The film takes place in the fictional town of Shermer, Illinois. Know who else lives there? Ferris Bueller from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Samantha Baker from Sixteen Candles and John Bender and all his detention mates from Breakfast Club. Hughes returned time and time again to the North Shore area of Illinois for his films; he thought of all his characters as living in the same universe, but Shermer was special.

Shermer was a fictional Chicago suburb of a type that was very familiar to Hughes. That’s in large part because, as a child, the Hughes family moved to the Chicago suburb of Northbrook, Illinois; he met his wife at Glenbrook High School. His teen years in Northbrook shaped his personal life and his professional writing, largely because of what a diverse group of people existed there. To him, it was the quintessential American landscape.

“The whole notion of Shermer came out of that heterogeneous kind of society, very extreme,” Hughes once said in an interview. “I remember this one kid, an eighth-grader, who had his teeth rotted out. Eighth grade. It was like Deliverance. But then at the same time, you’d have the richest kid in town in your school as well, so even in this tiny setup, you had both ends of the economic spectrum, real extremes. I’ve always wanted to write a history of Shermer, because it’d be kind of the history of postwar America.”

In his later years, Hughes returned to live in the Chicago area; after passing away in 2009 at the age of 59, he was laid to rest at a cemetery in Lake Forest, Illinois.

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Who owned the Home Alone house when the film was made? 

At the time of filming, the Abendshien family lived in the Winnetka house. They’d met the film’s location manager when they lived in Evanston. At first, the location manager expressed interest in using their Winnetka home for the Hughes film Uncle Buck, but that didn’t work out. Over a year passed before the Abendshiens were asked to use the house for Home Alone. Of course, they had no idea how popular the house would become. “We would have not believed back then that there would be sightseers coming to look at that house for years afterward,” John Abendshien told Vanity Fair in 2020.

Where did the family go during the four months of filming? The filmmakers rented the family an apartment to stay in while they worked, but the family decided to return home after a few nights. They kept to the master suite on the second floor while the film crew worked downstairs, allowing the family to periodically interact with Macaulay Culkin and the other cast members.

The arrangement went well for the most part, except for the time when dad John, returning home, pulled his car into the driveway and walked in as a scene was being filmed. Not only that, but the crew had to take care to avoid having his car and tire marks in the snow footage they were shooting.

As the film became popular, people started to park nearby and snap pictures. How did they know where the place was? There’s a scene in the film where Kevin tells “Santa” that he lives at 671 Lincoln Boulevard, the home's actual address (although it's technically 671 Lincoln Avenue); it was easy enough to find from there.

“It was just one of those once-in-a-lifetime things that you would never dream would happen to you,” Abendshein says. “If faced with that decision back then, knowing what I know now, I would certainly do it, absolutely.”

Is anyone living in the Home Alone house now?

In 2012, the Abendshiens, empty nesters at that point, sold the Winnetka house for a reported $1.585 million. Understandably, the current owners don’t want to be that vocal about their ownership of one of the most popular houses in the country and haven’t been seen on camera.

What is the square footage of the Home Alone house?

If you want to compare your own home to the Home Alone House, according to Realtor.com, the house is 4,243 square feet and sits on a lot size of just over half an acre.

How much did they sell the Home Alone house for?

When the Abendshiens sold the house, it was for a reported $1.585 million dollars.

How much is the Home Alone house worth today?

Zillow estimates that today, the property is valued at a cool $2.3 million or so, while Realtor.com estimates that the house on Lincoln Avenue is worth about $1.942 million.

Related: Here Are the 31 Most Iconic Quotes From Home Alone—Keep the Change, Ya Filthy Animal 

Was the Home Alone house used in other movies?

The Winnetka house made a return in Home Alone 2 but seems to have gone into retirement—that is, until FriendsMonica and Chandler purchased it, or at least appeared to.

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Fans of the sitcom were quick to notice that the street views seen through the windows of the fictional couple’s New York suburb home looked eerily like the Home Alone house. Reportedly, one fan included the Abendshien daughter, who recognized the views from the Geller-Bing household as the ones she was seeing from her own house. Apparently, stock footage from the film was used.

Does the Home Alone interior look the same as it looked then?

For the film, production changed the interior of the house just slightly, adding a ramp over the staircase and putting up new wallpaper. The crew built an outdoor stairway to the basement and a treehouse, both of which were removed when production was over. The new owners may have done renovations to the home since then, but from the outside, it looks the same.

The new owners also added something that was sorely needed: a fence.

Next, Kevin Is All Grown Up! Find out Where the Cast of the Original Home Alone Is Now