Remember the ending of Planes, Trains & Automobiles?
List Price: $2,773,000
The Property: The quintessential center-entry Colonial, this Kenilworth house stood in as the warm family home Steve Martin’s weary, irritable character desperately wanted to reach in time for Thanksgiving dinner in the 1987 movie Planes, Trains & Automobiles. “If I had a big life-sized photo of Steve Martin, I would put it in the window every Thanksgiving,” says Jeanie Schneider, who bought the house in 1996 with her husband, Wes. “Every Halloween, children come to the door and ask me, ‘Did you know your house was in a movie?’”
Built in the 1920s on a remnant of an old farm on the south end of Kenilworth, the house has the classic floor plan, with the living room on one side of the wide entry hall and the dining room and library on the other. It has a later addition adjacent to the living room that contains a big family room and sunroom, and the attic holds a suite of three wood-paneled bedrooms (which could also be used as studies). The kitchen, renovated in the 1990s, is nice but dated.
Two blocks from Lake Michigan and four from the Plaza Del Lago shopping area, the house is just the sort of place you would expect a successful advertising executive like Martin’s character to want to get home to—although he wouldn’t typically arrive towing his lonely, inadvertent traveling companion (played in the movie by John Candy) down the tree-lined street that leads to the house. As it turns out, the Schneiders share a slight kinship with Martin’s character. Wes Schneider is a former ad executive, and he and his wife own a company that does advertising promotions, such as sweepstakes and contests (disclosure: Chicago was a recent client).
Price Points: Planning to move to a horse farm in Virginia, the Schneiders first listed the house for sale in 2006, with an asking price of $3.4 million. They have cut the price a few times, including a recent (March 17th) drop from $2.895 million to $2.773 million.
Listing Agent: Barbara Mawicke, Coldwell Banker, (847) 446 4500
4 months ago