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The Real-Life Home Alone House: Then and Now

In 2018, Macaulay had the house to himself again, as he reprised the role of sharp kid Kevin McCallister for an ingenious Google Home Christmas ad. Now, Disney is working on a remake of the worldwide smash. However, the original McCallister’s house in Home Alone is the one we all grew up in, and we’re going to tell you its story.

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Released in November 1990 (daaamn, that makes me feel old), Home Alone is an all-time classic comedy about eight-year-old Kevin McCallister, who, accidentally left behind by his family on Christmas, is forced to defend his home from two dimwit burglars.

The movie gained such notoriety that today, “it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas” around the time TV channels start running Home Alone for the millionth time.

In 2019, Disney officially announced that a remake of the worldwide smash was in the works and everyone just went bananas.

The news intrigued fans all over the world, who are wondering whether the remake could ever live up to the original version. Considering that the sequels in which Macaulay didn’t star were total flops, only a Christmas miracle would help Disney meet fan expectations.

Anyway, for most of us there’s always going to be one Home Alone house – the original festive one that awakens the true Christmas magic.

The 1990 movie turned Macaulay Culkin into one of the biggest kid stars of all time, and the McCallister house became a character in its own right. And as is turns out, the gorgeous mansion is as real as can be (though possibly safer from dimwit bandits than its movie counterpart).

A walk down memory lane

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Image credits: Atlas Obscura

Built in 1920, the house belonged to John and Cynthia Abendshien, and if you were wondering where it’s located, know that the Home Alone house address is 671 Lincoln Ave, Winnetka, IL 60093 (though we’re pretty sure the new owners would rather not have fans lingering outside, so please respect their privacy).

The couple hadn’t owned it for very long when the production company approached them about transforming their new home into a filming set for the movie. Director Chris Columbus later stated that finding a house to fit his vision was no easy task:

“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. It’s the kind of house if you were a kid it would be fun to be left home alone… I wanted it to feel timeless.”

The Abendshien family were still living at the house during filming for Home Alone. Laura Abendshien was six years old at the time, and she took a stroll down memory lane in late 2020, appearing on U.K.’s This Morning show to talk about her experience growing up in the iconic house.

Abendshien recalled that the cast members became part of the family in a way during filming. “They would spend time in the house when they weren’t filming their scenes. Macaulay Culkin used my room to study with his tutor and his brother [Keiran], wasn’t filming as much, so he would just hang out in my room,” said Abendshien.

The red-brick, Georgian-style home sits on a half-acre with around 4,200 square feet of living space, boasts five bedrooms, including a four-room master suite, which spans the entire west wing of the home, and three-and-a-half bathrooms. As you may recall from the movie, as one enters the house, the legendary staircase welcomes guests.

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Image: 20th Century Fox

Another feature that made it a perfect fit was that the house has plenty of nooks and crannies where Kevin was able to hide and set traps for the burglars. The attic where he spent the night with his bed-wetting cousin is actually an attic bedroom with two grand suites.

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Image: 20th Century Fox

The iconic suburban Chicago home also has a large kitchen, a detached double garage and a greenhouse.

As for Kevin’s backyard tree house, it was specially constructed for the movie and demolished once they stopped filming. Too bad, since the Abendshiens lived there for 20 years and had a daughter who could’ve enjoyed it.

The Home Alone house now

Times have changed and so have the trends, which means the Home Alone house looks quite different now — despite the exterior’s recognizable look. The owners decided to redecorate heavily before putting it up for sale.

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Image credit: Coldwell Banker

Just as welcoming, the Home Alone house has a different aesthetic nowadays. The staircase looks completely different, the walls are painted in a chic shade of grey, the kitchen has plain white cupboards and the giant office has a piano instead of the McCallister’s festive décor. However, there’s still a four-poster bed in the mansion’s master suite.

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Image credit: Coldwell Banker
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Image credit: Coldwell Banker
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Image credit: Coldwell Banker

Even with all these changes, Home Alone fans will remember it as the house of the McCallisters, filled with red and green furnishings, charm, character, and over-the-top Christmas decorations.

In 2012, the house at 671 Lincoln Avenue, Winnetka, Illinois sold for $1.585 million, almost one million less compared to its original listing price of $2.4 million.

The Home Alone remake ‘casts’ Montreal-area house

As we’ve mentioned above, a Home Alone remake is in the works and a big part of it is shot in Canada. The movie starring Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt star, Ellie Kemper, was filmed in the Montreal area — which is known for its idyllic, snow-heavy cold season that creates the perfect winter wonderland background for a Christmas family movie.

The producers haven’t revealed too many details regarding the filming locations, but we do know that a house in the popular suburb of Longueuil (located roughly 15 minutes in driving distance from downtown Montreal) plays a central role in the new movie.

the house in the new home alone movie
Image credit: MTL Blog

Story-wise, the action is set in Chicago and the famous Christmas market in Parc St. Mark will be one important location.

The new Home Alone is directed by Dan Mazer and the cast of characters includes Archie Yates in the role of Max, Ellie Kemper and Rob Delaney. We’ll keep you updated when we’ll have more info, but meanwhile we thought that Macaulay Culkin’s reaction to the whole thing is worth sharing.

macauley culkin at home

More homes from movies:

Richie Rich’s House is Actually the Biltmore Estate, America’s Largest Home
Is It Real? Edward Cullen’s Sleek Glass House in the Twilight Saga
The Coolest Movie Homes You Can Build Yourself with LEGOs
The Simpsons House Gets a Modern Day Makeover

Written by Flavia Medrut

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