In Phoenix, the Wrigley Mansion is one of of the best places to go when celebrating a special occasion. Built up high on a hill, the mansion offers its visitors panoramic views of the surrounding desert city and Geordie's Restaurant, which is famous for serving creatively plated gourmet food and its extensive wine list that topples just over 800 bottles.
You can visit for the food and the views, but don't miss the opportunity to tour the residential part of the mansion and learn more about its original owner—William Wrigley Junior, of chewing gum and Chicago Cub's fame.
History of the Wrigley Mansion
In 1932, William Wrigley, Jr. built the Wrigley Mansion as a 50th anniversary gift for his wife. With 24 rooms, 12 bathrooms, and 11 fireplaces, the home was one of several that they owned throughout the country and was used mainly in the winter.
Wrigley died in the house, just one year after it was built. His wife continued to own the house until she passed in 1958, which is when the mansion underwent several ownership changes. At first, it became part of a meeting space for the nearby Arizona Biltmore Hotel, then Western Savings Bank purchased it and used it as a private club called The Mansion Club. After the savings and loan crisis, Western Savings Bank closed and the mansion was handed over to the city of Phoenix.
In 1992, in order to prevent the mansion from being razed, it was purchased by George Hormel, of the Hormel Foods Corporation, who was committed to restoring and maintaining the mansion's historical importance. Hormel renovated the building and re-opened it as a lounge, restaurant, and wedding venue.
Wrigley Mansion Tours
The Wrigley Mansion is open to the public for guided tours, in which you can learn about the history of William Wrigley, Jr., his wife, and the construction of the mansion and its architectural elements. The tour also delves into the mansion's post-Wrigley history and its many owners. Consult the Wrigley Mansion website for the tour schedule.
What to Expect on a Wrigley Mansion Tour
This tour is best suited for history buffs and takes approximately 45 minutes to an hour to complete, including a seated presentation that explains the history of the Wrigleys and how they amassed their fortune. The tour is lecture-heavy and not recommended for small children. After the seated presentation, which takes about 15 minutes, your tour guide will walk you through the home's main points of interest including the bedrooms, living room, dining area, and the rotunda. Photography is permitted during the tour and it is appropriate to tip the tour guide afterwards.
Getting to the Wrigley Mansion
The Wrigley Mansion is located in Central Phoenix, not far from the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, but it can be tricky to find the entrance if you are using GPS. After turning on Biltmore Circle, you will need to take the second right turn into the the parking lot of the National Bank of Arizona. Follow the sign for Wrigley Mansion and continue past the bank and over the canal bridge. The mansion can only be accessed through the bank parking lot.
When arriving at the mansion, note that the entrance sits on top of a very steep hill. If you want to avoid the walk up from the parking lot, make sure to take advantage of valet parking.