REEL ESTATE: When Cameron was in Egypt’s Land

Drew Tinnin

by: Drew Tinnin
February 9th, 2011

In our continuing efforts to keep you entertained and up-to-date on all things cinema, this new GATW segment hands over the blueprints to some of the most famous pieces of real estate that have been featured in film over the years. We’ll also be revisiting classic sequences that were made even more iconic by the locations where they were filmed. We might even give you a heads up when some of these famous properties go up for sale! So enjoy the open house – where you can enjoy the free food and the history, but never have to worry about being asked to bust out your checkbook.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

(Feel free to listen to the quintessential Ferris Bueller tune "Oh Yeah" by Yello as you read)

If there was a sequel to the 1986 teen classic FERRIS BUELLER'S DAY OFF, I'd like to think the opening scene would show Matthew Broderick waking up in bed as a wealthy playboy, now living in the post-modern mansion where the Frye family once resided. Although Ferris Bueller does not actually exist (some think he never existed at all and was only a figment of Cameron's imagination), the immaculate glass house where Cameron Frye takes his famous last stand does in fact exist in real life, and it's located at 370 Beech Street in Highland Park, Illinois.


Unfortunately, the 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California that a frustrated Cameron Frye inadvertently sends flying through a wall of glass into the woods below is not included in the price tag, but you may have heard that the house itself is now for sale - and has been for quite some time. So, why isn't is selling? Isn't there a wealthy Ferris aficionado out there somewhere who's willing to take this famous property off the market? Anyone? Anyone? (There is a Facebook group trying to chip in together to buy the joint if you're interested in joining.)

The home, valued at $2.3 million in September 2009, has now been sitting at a cool $1.65 million since January - a 30% reduction. Meladee Hughes (no relation to director John Hughes), the property's realtor, offered up some reasons why the home is still on the market.

"We have a very bad market in this price range," expalins Hughes. "This is a midcentury modern home that is not always what all the young people want-it doesn't have the bathrooms and kitchens with stainless steel-well, it does have some of the original stainless-but the young people want stone, they want this and that [updated features]. Some of the buyers that we've had have all wanted to preserve it, but other people walk in and they say, ‘Oh my God, I have to put in a new kitchen, a new bath...' "

The Rose House, as the property is affectionately known, was designed by architect and museum curator A. James Speyer in 1952. The home is not only known in the film community but by the architectural community at large, noted for its progressive design and overall look, which pays homage to the work of well-known architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. In 1958, the house was featured in the Bethlehem Steel publication with 11 other properties in order to promote the use of steel framing in residential design. The Rose House remains hugely influential in some circles, but it is the addition of the automobile pavillion in 1954 by David Haid that gets most of the recognition due in no small part to John Hughes and Matthew Broderick.

The property is designated as a Highland Park landmark, but the Rose House is under some pressure by some who have considered demolishing the house in favor of splitting up the lot into two separate properties. As a true fan of movies, GATW urges you to contact Mayor Michael D. Belsky ([email protected]) and offer your support so that officials can keep the property's landmark protection in place.

Fun Fact: In FERRIS BUELLER'S DAY OFF, a rail was set up in the pavilion to roll the car out in the infamous scene. Four fiberglass versions of the Ferrari were created, but they didn’t smoke when they crashed so smoke bombs were used for effect.

Sources CoolHunting, HousingWire, Yahoo!,

Commenting Rules: Comments are intended to open up the discussion to our readers about the topics at hand, and as such should be offered with a positive and constructive attitude. If your comment is not relative to the above post or is disrespectful to the authors and readers, we reserve the right to delete it. Continued abuse of our good nature will result in banishment of the offender. Additionally, if you have any burning issues to point out to the GATW crew - typos, corrections, suggestions, or straight-up criticism - please email us instead of commenting here.

  • Recent Post