William Wrigley Jr.'s spectacular anniversary gift to his wife
The Wrigley Mansion is a spectacular home that was built in 1932 as a 50th anniversary gift from chewing gum millionaire William Wrigley Jr. to his wife, whom he adored. Today the Wrigley Mansion is open to the public for tours and to enjoy their delightful restaurant with its magnificent view.
Our tour guide was most proud of the Wrigley Mansion’s Steinway player-piano. The piano has a rare electronic mechanism which allows multiple songs to be loaded and played, one of only two pianos like that left in the world; the other is in the Smithsonian. Amy pressed a button and the Steinway began to play Rhapsody in Blue, the keys plinking all by themselves.
When I asked about Geordie’s dinner menu, our server said that their chef prepares Italian-inspired dishes, featuring beautifully grilled steaks, fresh seafood and house-made pastas, with the season’s best ingredients.
We had a great time at the Wrigley Mansion, and combined with the adventure of getting there on the canal trail, it was a perfect way to spend a sunny winter day in Arizona. To bicycle or walk to the Wrigley Mansion from the Magnuson Hotel Papgo Inn, just pick up the Cross Cut Canal six blocks west of the hotel. Follow the Cross-Cut Canal north to its intersection with the Arizona Canal at Indian School Road. Head west along the Arizona Canal until you see the Biltmore Hotel on your right and then just a little ways further, you'll see the Wrigley Mansion sitting on the hill on your left.
Here is a photo from eight decades ago. The setting hasn't changed much.
Story and photos by Bret Wirta