Anyone familiar with the filmography of the late John Hughes has heard and seen quite a bit of Shermer, Illinois, the North Shore suburb of Chicago where many of his films were set. However, as Jay and Silent Bob found out in Kevin Smith’s Dogma, Shermer isn’t a real place at all — it was a fictional suburb created entirely by the filmmaker. “The whole notion of Shermer came out of that heterogeneous kind of society, very extreme,” Hughes explained in a 1999 interview. “I mean, at one point I went from a school with 1100 students to one with thirty. 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. Haven’t got around to it yet, though.”
Unfortunately, he never did. But Shermer has remained a point of fascination for Hughes fans and ’80s kids, and recently, film critic and Hughes enthusiast Brian Orndorf took a pilgrimage to the Chicago area to seek out the sights and sounds of Shermer. He’s posted photos of the locations from several Hughes films, as they are today, on his blog (along with stills of comparable shots from the film). After the jump, we’ve collected a few of our favorites; check out all of them here.
Cameron’s house from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off