"Save Ferris" water tower getting new paint
The Northbrook water tower immortalized in the 1986 film "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" is getting a fresh coat of paint.
No exhortation to save the movie's titular teen will adorn the 140-foot-tall structure, however. Nor messages in support of best chum Cameron Frye, girlfriend Sloane Peterson or even spiteful Dean of Students Ed Rooney.
Rather, the tower -- on the 1200 block of Cedar Lane, behind village hall -- will be decorated with the same shade of light blue paint that's covered it for years.
Village leaders considered having "Save Ferris" painted on the tower and investigated buying the rights to the slogan, Village President Sandy Frum said, but they opted not to move ahead with it.
Even so, the 67-year-old tower's cinematic history occupies a place in Northbrook's collective heart.
"We are proud of it," Frum said.
"Ferris" writer-director John Hughes grew up in Northbrook and set or shot many of his movies in the area. "Home Alone," "Weird Science" and "Sixteen Candles" are among the hits that prominently featured Chicago and the North suburbs.
The Northbrook water tower was one of several real landmarks and destinations featured in "Ferris." Others included Glenbrook North High School, Glencoe Beach, Wrigley Field and the Art Institute of Chicago.
Hughes died in 2009. A bench that honors him and provides a great view of the tower was installed behind the Northbrook Public Library in 2016.
Frum said Hughes' teen-centric movies make her think of her children when they were that age.
"They bring back memories -- a sense of nostalgia," she said. "They are truly a snapshot of a moment in time."
A Wauconda firm called Jetco Ltd. is handling the painting, as well as some internal maintenance designed to protect the 500,000-gallon tank's structural integrity.
The job will cost the village nearly $470,000, according to northbrook.il.us. Work began in March and should conclude in July.
The tower is one of two in the village. The other, on the 200 block of Huehl Road, was built in 2011 and doesn't yet need to be repainted, Public Works Director Kelly Hamill said.