When it comes to Christmas movies, one of the most iconic films of the season is Home Alone. The house itself is one of the many aspects that made the film so iconic. It could practically be considered a character of its own, given how important a role it played in the story.
In 2021, Disney produced a remake of Home Alone, Home Sweet Home Alone. However, fans still feel nostalgia for (and gravitate to) the 1990 original film. Curious about the iconic Home Alone house, including whether or not it’s being occupied today. Here’s everything we know about the house!
An Iconic Christmas Movie
Home Alone, follows a boy named Kevin McCallister and his family. When Kevin accidentally gets left behind by his family on a planned overseas vacation, he initially enjoys having the house all to himself. However, two burglars named Harry and Marv set their eyes on the house. They realize that breaking in isn’t going to be as easy when Kevin has set out traps for them.
Home Alone was written by the legendary 1980s filmmaker John Hughes. Most of Hughes’ movies were set in Chicago and the North Shore suburbs.
The success of the 1990 movie led to a sequel, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. The house doesn’t play as much of a prominent role by that time, given the location change. There have been several remakes of Home Alone since then, but none were as popular as the original two movies that starred Macaulay Culkin.
Given Hughes’ movies’ location, Home Alone’s production scouted locations in the Chicago area. They eventually settled on the property that would become the iconic Home Alone house.
“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,” Director Chris 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 sent a few photos of the house’s interior to Hughes. Hughes called the place “perfect” and that it was how he imagined the Home Alone house would look like.
The Home Alone House Address
The address of the Home Alone house is really what Kevin said in the film. It’s located at 671 Lincoln Avenue in Winnetka, Illinois. It has six bedrooms and six bathrooms. Since the movies, people have traveled to the “Home Alone house” on Lincoln Avenue.
“Most people who live on the street love it, and think it’s a lot of fun,” said one nearby resident 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.”
Unsurprisingly, traffic picks up during the Christmas season in the area.
In 2021, Airbnb listed a one-night stay in the iconic Home Alone house. In the listing, Kevin’s brother Buzz, who also appears in the Disney remake, will be serving as the “host.” It was a one-time event only, so the house is currently not available for rent.
“Many Christmases ago, the McCallisters went to Paris – well, most of us,” said the listing supposedly written by Buzz. “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.”
Where Was Home Alone Filmed
Home Alone was filmed in Winnetka, Illinois, around 16 miles outside Chicago. The Home Alone house was also located in that area. While its exterior was used for the film, not everything inside the house was used. Production only used the interior shots of the living room and the famous grand staircase.
Because the house wasn’t actually big enough to use for filming, many of the interior scenes were instead filmed somewhere else. They were filmed at the New Trier Township High School, an abandoned school in the area. The production built a two-story set inside the gym. Columbus explained that the house was too small for the crew to get inside the door.
Scenes were also filmed outside the house. The production also used local places to film. Santa’s workshop and the grocery store scenes were also filmed in Winnetka. Kevin bought his own toothbrush at the Hubbard Woods Pharmacy in Winnetka.
The church Kevin goes inside is actually two churches: the exterior is a church from the nearby Chicago suburb of Wilmette. The interiors were filmed in Oak Park. The O’Hare International Airport was used for all the airport scenes, including the scenes in “Paris.”
“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,” said Columbus.
Who Owned the Home Alone House
At the time Home Alone was filmed, the Home Alone house was owned by the Abendshein family. They met the film’s location manager when they lived in Evanston. The location manager initially approached them for their Winnetka home for another Hughes film, Uncle Buck. It ultimately didn’t work out.
They were approached again a year later and ultimately agreed. John Abendshien told Vanity Fair in 2020 that at the time, they didn’t know how iconic their home at the time would become. During the four months of filming, the family initially stayed in an apartment but eventually returned home. They kept to the master suite on the second floor as production was taking place downstairs.
The Abendshein family also got to interact with Culkin and the other cast members from time to time.
“It was just one of those once-in-a-lifetime things that you would never dream would happen to you,” said Abendshein. “If faced with that decision back then, knowing what I know now, I would certainly do it, absolutely.”
Where Home Alone Takes Place
Home Alone actually takes place in the fictional town of Shermer, Illinois. This puts the McCallisters in the same neighborhood as Hughes’ other characters. That means the McCallisters are neighbors with Ferris Bueller from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Samantha Baker from Sixteen Candles, and John Bender from The Breakfast Club. John Bender’s other detention-mates also live in the same town.
Hughes has revisited North Shore time and again for his films. The filmmaker once thought of all his characters living in the same universe.
The Home Alone House Today
The Abendsheins eventually sold the Winnetka house in 2012 for over $1.5 million. The current owners are maintaining their privacy and have made renovations since then. They have also added a fence to the house.
Further celebrating the iconic Home Alone house, LEGO even made a 3,955-piece building set of the house. With a price tag of $300, the mini replica of the house also includes the backyard treehouse and Harry and Marv’s decoy plumbing van.