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Official Name

William Wrigley, Jr. Building

Address

400-410 N. Michigan Ave.

Completion Date

1924

Neighborhood

Near North Side

The Wrigley Building is so recognizable, it hardly needs an introduction.

It stands proudly where Michigan Avenue crosses the Chicago River, a luminous white beacon known the world over as a beloved symbol of Chicago’s preeminence in architecture and commerce.

Gateway to the Magnificent Mile

When Michigan Avenue was extended north of the river, it opened up a gritty landscape of small buildings and industry to a complete transformation. Chewing gum magnate William Wrigley Jr. touched off the boom when he decided to build a new headquarters for his company on an oddly shaped lot west of Michigan Avenue and just north of the river. It was the first, and quite possibly the finest, of the buildings that have come to define the Magnificent Mile.

A Vision in (Six Different Shades of) White

Such a prominent site demanded a notable building, and architects Graham, Anderson, Probst & White delivered. Modern in its height and steel-frame construction, the Wrigley Building's facade nonetheless bears the weight of history. As a young man, Wrigley visited the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893 and never forgot the famed White City or its nighttime light displays. Those memories live on in his namesake building. Six different shades of gleaming white terra cotta become brighter as the building rises, and its facade is illuminated at night.

A second tower was commissioned shortly after the completion of the first, presenting a harmonious front to Michigan Avenue. The two buildings are linked by a third-floor bridge. They’ve been immaculately maintained since completion with regular cleanings to keep them sparkling white. A thorough restoration followed the Wrigley Company’s recent sale of the building, and it received official Chicago Landmark status in 2012.