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The Chicago Traveler

Wrigley Building

by Matt B on December 17th, 2007

Wrigley Building

One of the most beautiful pieces of architecture that is unique to Chicago actually helped make Michigan Avenue the Magnificent Mile it is today: the Wrigley Building. This historical structure is actually two buildings joined by a 14th floor skywalk and a street-level walkway. Its glazed white fa'ade makes it easily recognizable and unforgettable.

Wrigley Building

When construction began for the Wrigley Building in 1920, there were no major office buildings north of the Chicago River and the Michigan Avenue Bridge. Michigan Avenue, which was still called Pine Street, had not yet become the shopping mecca that it is today. Instead, the area was mostly industrial, surrounded by warehouses, sugar mills, factories, and rail yards. William Wrigley, Jr. chose this land to headquarter his chewing gum company. (Interesting trivia: the land is near the site of Chicago's very first settlement, the homestead of Jean Baptiste Point du Sable.) Fortunately, the construction of the Wrigley Building spurred new development north of the Chicago River and made Michigan Avenue (and the city) what it is now.

Wrigley BuildingWrigley Building

A few facts' The two towers of the Wrigley Building are of different heights: the south tower rises to 30 stories; the north, only 21. The south tower bears clocks facing in all directions, each 19 ft 7 in (5.97m) in diameter. The building is home to the world's only chewing gum wrapper museum which, sadly, is not open to the public. The Wrigley Building (which now sits on the same block as the Tribune Tower) was also Chicago's very first air-conditioned office building. Finally, each of the terra cotta tiles on the exterior is custom-made in England and is tracked by a computer to determine when it needs washing or maintenance.[1] Cool!

Wrigley BuildingWrigley Building

Photo credit: (c/o Flickr) Giant Ginkgo, Cliff Dix Jr, Atelier Teee (1, 2), wka, derPlau

Wrigley Building: 400-410 N Michigan Ave
3-D model (requires Google Earth)
Public trans: Bus # 2, 3, X4, 10, 26, 143, 144, 145, 146, 147, 148, 151, 157

[1] 'Wrigley Building,' Chicago Architecture Info
http://www.chicagoarchitecture.info ' Artefaqs Corporation.

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POSTED IN: Architecture & Attractions

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