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'Stranger Things 2' Uses Wrong Skyline For 1980s Chicago

By David Matthews | November 1, 2017 5:44am

Spoiler alert: This story contains plot details from Season 2 of "Stranger Things"

DOWNTOWN — The Upside Down isn't the only thing that's screwy in the second season of "Stranger Things."

One episode of the hit Netflix drama's new season depicts heroine Eleven running away to Chicago, where things get a little twisted. 

Eleven, played by Millie Bobby Brown, gets off her bus from small-town Indiana to find a hackneyed big city experience featuring unfriendly police, hurried businessmen and eventually slums where cold vagrants huddle around garbage fires.

Chicagoans on the Internet were quick to point out another problem with the episode: Chicago's skyline is wrong. 

"Stranger Things," known for its nostalgic elements, takes place in 1984. The skyline the show uses could be from 2017:


[Netflix]

The Trump International Hotel & Tower near the middle of the skyline shown here was two decades from being built. 

Same with the Blue Cross Blue Shield Tower, which was finished in 2010. The Franklin Center near what's now called Willis Tower was built in 1989, and Two Prudential Plaza opened in 1990, six years after the events depicted in the episode take place. 

The geography is also off. The way this scene is shot, Eleven should be sitting in the middle of Lake Michigan.

For reference, here's what Chicago's skyline looked like in 1984:


The view from Burnham Harbor in 1984. [University of Illinois-Chicago/William C. Brubaker]

These transgressions did not go unnoticed on Twitter:

All things considered, "Stranger Things" is still a fun watch for the fall. And it's nice Chicago is included in a hit show rooted in the Midwest. Just check the skyline next time. 

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