When ground was broken for the Wrigley Building in 1920, there were no major office buildings north of the Chicago River and the Michigan Avenue Bridge, which spans the river just south of the building was still under construction. The land was selected by chewing gum magnate William Wrigley to headquarter his gum company. The building was designed by the architectural firm of Graham, Anderson, Probst and White. The south tower was completed in April 1921 and the north tower in May 1924. Walkways between the towers were added at the ground level and the third floor. In 1931, another walkway was added at the fourteenth floor to connect to offices of a bank in accordance with a Chicago statute concerning bank branch offices.
The two towers are of differing heights, with the south tower rising to 30 stories and the north tower to 21 stories. On the south tower is a clock with faces pointing in all directions. Each face is 19 feet 7 inches in diameter. The building is glazed in terra cotta, which provides its gleaming white façade. On occasion, the entire building is hand washed to preserve the terra cotta. At night, the building is brightly lit with floodlights.
The Wrigley Building was Chicago’s first air-conditioned office building. If you walk through the center doors, you will find yourself in a secluded park area overlooking the Chicago River. At the base of the southern tower is a staircase leading down to a boat dock where boat tours of the Chicago River and Lake Michigan originate.