A Valley landmark, the Wrigley Mansion sits atop a small hill in Central Phoenix ’s Biltmore neighborhood, like a Spanish Colonial citadel safeguarding million-dollar homes and golf courses. Chewing-gum magnate William Wrigley Jr. built the 24-room, 16,000-square-foot mansion in 1931 as a “winter cottage” and gave it to his wife, Ada, for a 50th anniversary present. The couple only stayed a month or two a year, as the mansion was the smallest of the family’s five homes.
Today, the “cottage” houses the private Wrigley Mansion Club (2501 E. Telawa Trail, 602/955-4079, www.wrigleymansionclub.com ), which re-opened in 2003 after undergoing a $2 million renovation that added dining space and a bar. Long gone are the days when the Wrigley family wintered at the house while they managed their fortunes, a business and real estate empire that included California’s Catalina Island and the Arizona Biltmore Resort.
Though the Wrigley Mansion’s pristine desert view has evolved into a sprawling cityscape since then, the mansion retains much of its original 1930s appeal, from hand-carved doors to an elegant rotunda ceiling. Even the mansion’s 17 bathrooms, which reflect the Art Deco tastes of the era, were carefully restored, reviving the chartreuse, turquoise, black, and royal blue tiles that were made in the Wrigley family kiln.
The recent addition also preserves the home’s historical architectural details, including a two-story patio and balcony that formed the mansion’s northern facade. The space has been converted into an intimate lounge and restaurant, Geordie’s at the Wrigley Mansion (lunch 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Tues.–Sat., dinner 5–9 p.m. Fri.–Sat., lounge 4 p.m.–midnight Fri.–Sat., brunch Sun. 10 a.m.–3 p.m.), named after the mansion’s last owner, the late heir to the Spam fortune, George “Geordie” Hormel, and it serves as a sort of observation deck with big picture windows offering unobstructed views of the city lights at night.
Due to neighborhood zoning restrictions, the Wrigley Mansion must operate as a private club, and the Hormels have instituted an egalitarian $10 yearly fee that is donated to Valley charities. However, nonmembers can enjoy a guided tour, drinks, or the Sunday brunch.