Film buff or not, you’ve probably seen and loved Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – especially if you’re an 80’s baby. It’s one of the most celebrated films for so many reason. For the film’s Director, John Hughes, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1985) was a “love letter” to his hometown of Chicago. He said,
“I really wanted to capture as much of Chicago as I could. Not just in the architecture and landscape, but the spirit.”
Well, Hughes nailed it and made a movie that will be forever adored. Check out our guide to Chicago through the lens of Bueller [Bueller]!
1. GRANT PARK // 5 South Columbus Drive
In 1986, Millennium Park was an empty space (construction for the park started in 1998). However, aerial shots in the film show the empty, open space that would become Millennium Park a decade or so later.
2. 333 WEST WACKER
Right before the scene at Ferris’ dad’s office, viewers catch a glimpse of 333 West Wacker Drive. The building’s standout curved glass tower was designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates and was just a few years old at the time of filming and was super cutting edge, cool.
3. LAKE SHORE DRIVE
Make way for CLASSIC scenes of teenagers cruising along the iconic Lake Michigan/skyscraper lined LSD in his Dad’s Ferrari! In the movie you’ll see Ferris, Cameron, and Sloane driving south with the John Hancock building in front of them.
4. ITALIAN VILLAGE // 71 West Monroe Street
Italian Village on Monroe Street opened in 1927 and is still rocking Tuscan fare today! After the crew exits LSD, there’s a shot of them driving past the restaurant’s legendary neon sign.
5. PARKING GARAGE // 172 West Madison Street
The garage where the teens drop off the stolen Ferrari (followed by the attendant who can’t help but take the convertible for a spin) is here on Madison Street.
6. WELLS STREET // West Madison Street & South Wells Street
Picture this: Ferris leaves the parking garage and the attendant and his sidekick bolt. Hughes shot the beginning of their joyride on Wells Street— we love the image of the red hot Ferrari with the very Chicago el tracks in the background.
7. WILLIS TOWER // 233 South Wacker Drive
First stop downtown: The Sears Tower observation deck [now the Willis Tower Skydeck]! Ferris mentions that it’s the tallest building in the world which was true throughout the ’80s. When the Petronas Towers in Malaysia were built in 1996, the Sears Tower lost its title 🙁 BUT it’s still super cool!
8. CHICAGO BOARD OF TRADE // 141 West Jackson Boulevard
The Board of Trade from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off looks very different from this board of trade. In the ’80s, traders wore yellow and red jackets, completed sales on paper, and yelled across the pit. Now, computers have taken over and that same room is filled with digital screens for electronic trading!
9. CHEZ QUIS // 22 West Schiller Street
Hungry for a fancy meal? Sorry, not an option — this fancy French restaurant doesn’t exist (but Chicago has several REAL and delicious options instead). The exterior shots of the restaurant are from someone’s private home in the Gold Coast neighborhood (which has since been remodeled and the ivy covered wall was removed – sad!). The interior shots were filmed in Los Angeles.
10. ART INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO // 111 South Michigan Avenue
One of Hughes’ favorite places was the Art Institute. We love when Cameron (after goofing around) sees Georges Seurat’s A Sunday on La Grande Jatte and has a tender moment. Meanwhile, Ferris and Sloane find Marc Chagall’s America Windows.
11. WRIGLEY FIELD // 1060 West Addison Street
Thank you Ferris for setting the ultimate example of what it means to play hooky, Chicago style. A Cubs game is a MUST.
12. DALEY PLAZA // 50 West Washington Street
The Von Steuben Day Parade is one of the greatest movie scenes of all time (and was Hughes’ personal fave moment)! You’ll catch the Picasso sculpture at Daley Plaza and cool views of Dearborn Street. The scene required nearly 10,000 extras!
13. FEDERAL CENTER // 230 South Dearborn Street
While Ferris is serenading the Germans at the parade, Cameron and Sloane walk through the plaza at the Federal Building (designed by Mies Van Der Rohe) and Post Office to talk about what’s next post high school graduation!
Worth a drive: The North Shore of Chicago is not far and an easy drive. There, you’ll find:
CAMERON’S HOUSE // 370 Beech Street, Highland Park, IL
Cameron Frye lives in an all glass, super modern home in Highland Park designed by A. James Speyer. This is where you see the Ferrari shoot through the glass garage before crashing into the ravine below. This house was on the market for five years before it sold in 2014.
GLENBROOK NORTH HIGH SCHOOL // 2300 Shermer Road, Northbrook, IL
Remember when Ferris and Cameron race to school in the Ferrari to pickup Ferris’ girlfriend?This school – GBN – still stands today (even the concrete stairs that Sloane walks down remain – of course current students love recreating scenes from the movie on those steps). Hughes also attended Glenbrook North!
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The Neighborhood Hotel was founded by travel enthusiasts who enjoy spaces that inspire, comfort and fuel. Each suite is well equipped for short and longterm stays (i.e. kitchenettes, laundry, etc.). The Neighborhood Hotel aims to transform old buildings with cool history into well outfitted apartment style hotels that honor the old while representing the now. The vibe is fresh + fun with rooms that are stocked to support everyone from the homebody to the adventurer. The Neighborhood Hotel serves as a basecamp for the explorer and a sanctuary for the traveler who needs to recharge, reset or just chill.The suites are simple + clean punctuated by accents that bring the right amount of pop. The Neighborhood Hotel has locations in: Lincoln Park, Little Italy, West Loop (2025 opening), New Buffalo, MI and Grand Beach, MI.