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Did You Know: Phoenix's Wrigley Mansion Was An Anniversary Gift

By Nadine Arroyo Rodriguez
Published: Friday, March 21, 2014 - 2:58pm
Updated: Friday, September 5, 2014 - 2:33pm
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(Photo by Nadine Arroyo Rodriguez-KJZZ)
This is the entrance to the Wrigley Mansion restaurant and bar.

It was built as an anniversary gift for an entrepreneur’s wife. Today, the home on a hill overlooking Phoenix and surrounding mountains has become an entertainment venue for the public to enjoy and a historic mansion.

The Wrigley Mansion was built by chewing-gum magnate William Wrigley, Jr. The national landmark sits on a 100-foot hill. Did You Know the 16,000 square foot mansion with 24 rooms and 12 bathrooms was the smallest of the Wrigley homes?

“The home was designed to be used for entertaining showcasing some of their guests," said Ben Sinon, the general manager of the property.

The mansion now serves as a restaurant, bar, special events venue and as a museum with daily tours.

“And this was a stop on their way West to spend most of the duration of winter before heading back to Chicago," Sinon explained.

The Wrigleys also owned homes in California and the Midwest. This one was built between 1929 and 1931. It is right near the Biltmore Hotel, also a Wrigley property at the time. The Spanish deco mansion was a 50th wedding anniversary gift for his wife Ada.

“When this home was designed, downtown Phoenix was still very small. Some of the original pictures we have in the home, credit the home as just outside Phoenix, Ariz.," Sinon said.

The luxury home had all sorts of amenities, bedrooms with private bathrooms and a telephone room for guests to make calls. The walls covered with the same aluminum foil paper used to wrap the Wrigley gum, and a remote control Steinway Piano that moves from one classical song to the next, most of them George Gershwin classics.

In 1932, Wrigley, Jr. died in this house. His family continued to use it until the early 1970s. Since then, the property has sold several times, but each owner has had to preserve its history. 

“As part of the land deed for the property included that all of the belongings to the home were essentially part of the land, attempting to ensure that you could not part out the valuable pieces of the home," said Sinon.

That includes the Steinway Piano. In fact, musicians who visit Wrigley Mansion are still welcomed to play it.  It is so popular that in 1992 musician, Geordie Hormel wanted the Wrigley’s Steinway so he bought the entire house.

Hormel’s estate has owned the Wrigley Mansion ever since.

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