Remember the most famous home in Winnetka, IL? We find out how the “Home Alone” property has fared over the years and scope out similar houses nearby.
With the holidays in full swing but COVID-19 keeping many of us at home, it’s a prime opportunity to binge-watch some holiday movies—and one must-watch is “Home Alone,” which turns 30 years old this year.
This classic John Hughes film from 1990 stars a young Macaulay Culkin as Kevin McCallister, a precocious 8-year-old accidentally abandoned by his large, chaotic family when they jet off to Paris. Two burglars decide to break in, but Kevin exerts all his ingenuity to create an array of booby traps throughout the house that foil their efforts.
While this movie made Culkin a star, the red-brick Colonial his character protects is an unforgettable backdrop. And whether it’s due to the film’s 30th anniversary, holiday nostalgia or just pandemic-induced boredom, creative homages to the movie have been popping up online and on social media.
One fan, Los Angeles-based Loren Baker, worked with foundation construction company Groundworks to build a tribute site for the McCallister House that challenges viewers to pinpoint all 14 booby traps awaiting the burglars in a 3-D rendering of the house, from the front porch’s red-hot doorknob to the tar-covered basement stairs.
Another “Home Alone” enthusiast, programmer Kevin Urrutia-O’Reilly decked out his Austin, TX house in “Home Alone” themed decor, including a Michael Jordan cardboard cutout, two very frazzled bandits, and a light-up sign wishing all “Merry Christmas, ya filthy animal.”
Meanwhile, fans who crave more than a drive-by can book a night in a “Home Alone” themed Airbnb in Dallas for $227 per night—free cheese pizza delivery included.
While all these tributes are a testament to this film’s enduring popularity, you may wonder what’s up with the actual “Home Alone” house in real life. Where is it, and how has it held up after all this time?
How the ‘Home Alone’ house is doing today
In 2012, this 4,243-square-foot, four-bedroom home sold for $1,585,000. That’s a fair market price, with no sign of a Hollywood-influenced markup. Apparently the home’s reflected glory has faded!
Still, the house itself is in great shape, perhaps because the owners at the time the movie was shot—Cynthia and John Abendshien—took pains to make sure their place wasn’t abused half as much as burglar Joe Pesci.
“We were told shooting would be four or five weeks,” Cynthia Abendshien told Chicago magazine. Welp, it turned out that the shooting took over five months. Although the Abendshiens were given an apartment, the location manager warned them that “under the contract, if they needed to knock down a wall when we weren’t home, they could do it,” Abendshien said. “So she told us it was best if we remained on the premises.”
So remain they did, over those five-plus months of filming. “In that time, we spent maybe three nights in the apartment,” she said.
Who knows if this home’s current owners are as vigilant, but if they are, we’d say this home may weather the test of time just as well as the movie.
Maureen Dempsey contributed to this post.