They’re the homes that Juicy Fruit built, but they’ll cost you more than 99 cents a pop.
Chicago confectionary tycoon
William Wrigley Jr.
and his family made a mint on chewing gum, a fortune that bought them trophy homes across the country. Currently, two of those properties are on the market—for $4.9 million and $7.5 million.
During his lifetime, Mr. Wrigley (1861-1932) and his wife, Ada, owned mansions and ranch land in Illinois, Wisconsin, Arizona and California—an impressive portfolio for a man who began his career as a traveling soap salesman. Upon his death in 1932, Wrigley’s estate was estimated at $40 million, according the Chicago Tribune in 1932, more than $700 million in today’s dollars.
While the Wrigley company is no longer family held—it was sold to candy giant Mars Inc. and Warren Buffett for $23 billion in 2008—all but one of Wrigley’s original homes are still standing.
Here’s a look at those historic properties and their estimated values today.
Inside Six Homes of William Wrigley Jr.
The chewing-gum tycoon had mansions in Chicago, as well as grand estates in California, Arizona and Wisconsin.
Lincoln Park Area, Chicago
With his flourishing business empire, Wrigley in 1911 purchased one of Chicago’s best-known homes: an Italian Renaissance-style property near Lincoln Park. The more than 13,000-square-foot mansion remained in the family for about 70 years until it was sold to a private investor in 1984. Bank of America foreclosed on the previous owner of the property in 2016 and listed the nine-bedroom, six-bathroom property earlier this year for $7.15 million, but the price has since been lowered to $4.9 million. Anthony Disano, the agent representing the bank, said the previous owners had found some remnants of the Wrigleys at the home, including a stash of Prohibition-era alcohol in a basement vault. According to reports at the time, the family decided to leave the home after the infamous kidnapping and murder of the infant son of pilot Charles Lindbergh in 1932, the same year as William Jr.’s death.
Lake Shore Drive, Chicago
The Wrigley family moved to a 10,000-square-foot, two-level co-op apartment on Lake Shore Drive in the 1930s. The apartment, in a Rosario Candela-designed building on Chicago’s Gold Coast, is still one of the city’s most opulent homes. The current owners, Chicago businessman David Hamilton and his wife, Catharine, bought it from the estate of Philip K. Wrigley, the founder’s son and successor, for $6.8 million in 1984 and recently listed it for $7.5 million. It features an imported French-designed limestone staircase, Parquet de Versailles wood flooring and 18th-century wall panels. Mr. Hamilton told The Wall Street Journal this summer that he turned down one buyer, saying the gentleman wanted to paint the walls white. “Can you imagine? This room was in the Place Vendome.”
In 1914, Wrigley bought a 21-room, Italian Renaissance-style home in Pasadena, Calif., that featured paneled rooms, inlaid-marble floors and elaborate molding. They paid $170,000 for the main property and another $25,000 the next year for an adjoining home that they razed to make way for gardens. Following Ada’s death in 1958, the property was donated to the city of Pasadena for use as a headquarters for the Pasadena Tournament of Roses, which organizes the annual Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game. If the property were converted back to a single-family residence, it would likely be worth about $10.5 million today, estimated Michael Bell, an agent with Sotheby’s International Realty in Pasadena. He said a similar 1920s-era property owned by the San Gabriel Pomona Valley chapter of the American Red Cross recently came on the market for that amount.
Catalina Island, Calif.
In 1921, Wrigley and his wife completed a 9,800-square-foot “summer cottage” on the island of Catalina near Los Angeles. Named Mt. Ada, their Colonial-style hillside mansion overlooking Avalon, Calif., is where they entertained guests such as Calvin Coolidge and Warren Harding, according to the 2005 book, “The Wrigley Family: A Legacy of Leadership in Santa Catalina Island,” by local historians William Sanford White and Kim Lianne Stotts. The island quickly became a hot spot for the Hollywood elite—Clark Gable, Humphrey Bogart, John Wayne and Judy Garland all made appearances. Wrigley also made the island the spring-training location of the Chicago Cubs, the baseball team he owned. Currently, the property is a bed-and-breakfast run by the Catalina Island Co. “William said he wanted to build his home in the place where he could see the sun rise first and set last,” said his grandson, Steve Schreiner, who is 54 years old and lives Gig Harbor, Wash. Mr. Schreiner said his mother, Ada Blanche Wrigley Schreiner, often talked about her time on Catalina, where the family also owned a ranch. “It was her happiest place,” he said. “They could just grab a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, throw on their chaps and ride bareback.”
Following the Lindbergh incident, he said his mother and aunt lived on Catalina for a year. One local agent, Earl Schrader of Catalina Realtors, said the property would likely be worth upward of $9 million or $10 million were it to come on the market as a single-family home today.
In the 1920s and 1930s, Wrigley acquired substantial interest in hotels, including the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix. At the time, Arizona was popular among some of Chicago’s wealthiest families for winter retreats. In 1930, Mr. Wrigley commissioned a mansion near Phoenix, which they named La Colina Solana, as a gift to his wife, according to Ben Sinon, the general manager of the property, which is now operated as a wedding and events venue by the family of musician and Spam-heir George “Geordie” Hormel.
Mr. Schreiner said his mother, who died at age 87 in 2010, recalled the journey between Chicago and Arizona, where remote areas had “corduroy roads” made of tree trunks laid across sand. Helen Atwater Rich, 69, Mr. Wrigley’s great-granddaughter, recalled having Clark Gable as her babysitter while her parents played golf in Phoenix.
La Colina Solana incorporates elements of California Monterey and Spanish Colonial Revival styles. Wrigley died there in 1932, but the house stayed in the family until the 1970s. Mr. Hormel purchased the home, along with the Wrigley furnishings and original Steinway piano, for $2.6 million in 1992 and converted it into the venue, Mr. Sinon confirmed.
a local Arizona real-estate agent, said it was difficult to put a price on the property, since there are no comparable homes in the area, but that a value of between $20 million and $25 million wouldn’t be unreasonable.
Lake Geneva, Wisc.
About 75 miles north of Chicago, the Wrigleys owned a number of summer estates on the edge of Wisconsin’s Lake Geneva. Wrigley purchased Green Gables, a home that had been built for the multimillionaire sportsman C.K.G. Billings, in 1911. The original home, which was in disrepair, was torn down in 1955, and a new one was completed in 1966. The new property was considered “state of the art,” with electronically controlled drapes, according to local historian and real-estate agent Matt Petersen. At the peak, the Wrigleys owned a series of five or six waterfront homes. Philip K. Wrigley lived on Lake Geneva until his death in 1977. Green Gables is currently owned by local businessman Karl Otzen, who bought it in 1999, he said. Mr. Otzen said there are some remnants of the Wrigleys on the property, including a multistory barn that he uses to house his car collection and a small building that was used as an ice house by the Wrigleys before the era of refrigerators. Mr. Otzen declined to speculate on the value of the property, but noted that the residence next door, which was also owned by the Wrigleys and is known as Hillcroft, is similar in size and scale. It was recently on the market for $12.5 million.
The Homes of Wrigley’s Descendants
When chewing gum titan William Wrigley Jr. died in 1932, he left just a handful of heirs. But two generations later, his grandchildren and great-grandchildren are still property moguls. Here’s a sampling of some of their homes across the country.
The Wrigleys’ son, Philip, owned Casa Del Monte in Avalon, Calif., and El Rancho Escondido, a 500-acre ranch comprising 640 acres outside the city. Alison Wrigley Rusack, William Wrigley Jr.’s great-granddaughter, now owns Casa del Monte, and Alison and her husband, Geoff Rusack, own El Rancho Escondido, as well as a winery in the Santa Ynez Valley near Santa Barbara, Calif., Mr. Rusack confirmed.
The Wrigleys’ daughter, Dorothy Wrigley Offield, owned a Romanesque Revival mansion on Astor Street in Chicago, which sold earlier this year for $4 million, according to public records.
The Wrigleys’ great-grandchildren continue to own property throughout the country.
In Central Florida, William Wrigley Jr. II, 54, is trying to sell an equestrian property called Winter Haven Farm; it is composed of almost 1,100 acres and a grass racetrack. He bought most of the land in 2005 for $24 million, and later added several lots, according to one of the listing agents, Gary Pohrer of Douglas Elliman. The asking price is $20 million.
Helen Atwater Rich, 69, owns a 127-acre estate with a 12,000-square-foot mansion off Gunn Highway in Odessa, Fla., where she operates an animal-rescue center. She’s taken in more than 400 animals, including pigs, goats and horses—and, more recently, a zebra. She also maintains a home on a hilltop in Catalina built by her mother, Dorothy Wrigley, in 1988. It’s located halfway between Mt. Ada and Casa del Monte and contains the original fireplace mantel from the original Wrigley Mansion in Chicago, she said. In addition, she owns homes in Kentucky, where she enjoys equestrian sports, and in Savannah, Ga., where her condo is just steps from the historic center of the city, she said.
In Kentucky, Misdee Wrigley, 60, owns Hillcroft Farm in the Bluegrass region of the state, according to the farm’s website.
In Arizona, Paxon Headley Offield in 2003 sold El Rojo Grande Ranch, a 173-acre property about a mile outside Sedona and adjacent to the Coconino National Forest, to members of the Hills Bros. Coffee family. It is currently on the market for $14.2 million, according to the agent, Ed Pennington of Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty. The property’s main residence measures 6,700 square feet with walls of glass, a lap pool, a gym and an outdoor entertainment area that includes an amphitheater. There’s also a guesthouse and a caretaker’s home. The property includes a full equestrian facility with a veterinary clinic, stables and working barns.
Mr. Offield also owned an oceanfront home in Laguna Beach, Calif., until his death at age 63 in 2015, when it was listed for $11.9 million. The property, known as the Ark, is still on the market, though the price has been lowered to $7.995 million. The Arts and Crafts-style home was designed to look like a large boat, with hand-tied rope work and hand-carved woodwork, according to the listing, which is represented by Steve High and Mike Johnson of Villa Real Estate.
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