William Wrigley Jr.
History of the Wrigley Mansion|
Built between 1929 and 1931 by chewing gum magnate, William Wrigley, Jr., as a 50th wedding anniversary gift for his beloved wife, Ada, the mansion was one of five Wrigley homes. The mansion, which cost $250,000 - $300,000 to build,
remained the largest private residence in the state until the early 1960s. It was appropriately named "La Colina Solana" – the sunny hill. It affords dramatic views of the Valley of the Sun, downtown Phoenix, and nearby
William Wrigley, Jr. was a straightforward ambitious man who usually got what he was after.
Born in Philadelphia in September 1861, the son of William and Mary A. Wrigley, he parleyed his father's small Philadelphia soap business into a chewing gum empire that remains strong today. He went into the chewing gum business after discovering that the gum he gave away as a premium for buying the soap was more popular with customers than the soap.
Wrigley based his new company in Chicago. In 1915 he became the Owner and President of the Chicago Cubs baseball club. Although the family sold the team in 1981 to the Chicago Tribune, Wrigley Field is still the home of the Cubs. For years it was the oldest ballpark without lights. The Wrigley's firmly believed that baseball was meant to be played during the day.
The Mansion was only used by the couple as a "winter cottage". With 16,850 square feet, 24 rooms, and 12 bathrooms, it was the smallest of the Wrigley houses and was used only
four to eight weeks out of the year. Eleven fireplaces, each of them unique in their own right, attest to the mansion's individual character and special charm. The other homes are located in Chicago, Lake Geneva, Wisconsin,
Catalina Island and Pasadena, California.
The original architect was Earl Heitschmidt of Los Angeles. It is reported he designed the home in a combination of styles, including Spanish Colonial Revival, California Monterey and
Mediterranean architecture. The residence features stuccoed structural clay tile walls, overlapping mission tile roofs, balconies, terraces, and decorative tile.
Although it was only a part-time residence, the Wrigleys had taken great care in building and decorating it. Today, most of the original work is still intact, thanks to detailed restoration efforts. For example, the tiles in art deco colors of chartreuse, black, turquoise and royal blue still brighten most of the mansions 12 bathrooms. These tiles, made at the family's Catalina Island tile factory, came by ship and train to Phoenix and were then hauled by mule the last 10 miles to the mansion.
Aerial view of the Wrigley mansion taken in the 1930's
when there were no other buildings within 10 miles.
The house was appointed with meticulous care. Everything from doorknobs to furniture, from silver to brass, from windows to floors, was chosen to impress the presidents and other dignitaries who visited the family during the 40 years the Wrigleys lived there.
William died at age 70 in 1932 and Ada died
in 1958. In the 1960's the mansion was re-zoned as part of the family-owned Arizona Biltmore hotel. Situated on a hill just above the hotel, it served as an elegant and convenient meeting, seminar and private function site.
Tally Industries purchased the mansion, hotel, adjacent golf course and surrounding land in 1973. The mansion remained a public function facility and supplemental guest lodge to the hotel, but its years of use were beginning to
In 1979 Western Savings purchased the mansion and the three adjacent lots, and, in 1982, they
renamed it The Mansion Club. It served as a private club and corporate retreat.
In July 1992, George A. Hormel, one of the heirs to the Hormel meat packing family, purchased the mansion now known as The Wrigley
Mansion Club. His main purpose for purchasing the property was to preserve this unique landmark. Under Hormel's direction, the mansion, grounds and gardens have been restored to their 1930's splendor. It has been operating as a private club providing a magnificent setting for corporate meetings, weddings and other events. Recently, Hormel has reduced the annual dues to $15.00, so that practically anyone could enjoy this National Treasure and Phoenix Point of
"When I purchased The Wrigley Mansion Club in 1992, my purpose was to save the property from destruction," Hormel said. "Our goal for The Wrigley Mansion was, and still is, to be the premier private club in the Southwest."
Geordie's Restaurant & Lounge within the mansion is a wonderful tribute to our owner, Geordie Hormel, who passed away on February 12, 2006. With great food, a unique lounge environment and a spectacular view, Geordie's is a place that Mr. Hormel would have wanted you to enjoy. We welcome you!!