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Fun Facts About The Wrigley Building

  • The shape of the tower is patterned after La Giralda, once a minaret, now part of Spain’s Seville Cathedral.
  • The clock in the South Tower is two stories high. Its four dials are 19 feet, 7 inches in diameter. The hour hands are 6 feet, 4 inches, and the minute hands are 9 feet, 2 inches long. The original redwood hands were recently replaced with aircraft-grade aluminum for durability.
  • When The Wrigley Building first opened there was an observatory above the 26th floor in the Clock Tower; admission was 5 cents and included a piece of Wrigley gum.
  • It took 250,000 terra-cotta tiles to clad the two towers, the most of any building at the time of construction. The tiles are occasionally hand-washed to keep them bright.
  • The tiles are six shades of white, from off-white at the bottom to blue-white at the top, so the building looks brighter as it rises.
  • The Wrigley Building Interior
  • None of the building’s four corners is a right angle. The southwest corner is 84°, northwest 102°, northeast 42°, and southeast 132°.
  • Giant grasshoppers scaled the building in the 1957 sci-fi film Beginning of the End. Since then The Wrigley Building has appeared in movies including Backdraft, The Breakup, The Fugitive, and Mercury Rising.
  • The Wrigley Building At Night
  • The Wrigley Building was Chicago’s first air-conditioned office building.
  • The bridge between the two towers on the 14th floor was added in 1931 to connect space occupied by a bank. The walkway was required by a Chicago ordinance concerning bank branch offices.
  • The Wrigley Building plaza familiar to generations of Chicagoans was added in 1957. It replaced a glass screen designed to block the sound from a soap factory that once operated east of Michigan Avenue and a cheese factory west of the building.
  • Floodlights have illuminated The Wrigley Building every night since its completion except for three years during World War II, three months in the winter of 1971 while new lighting was installed, and nine months during the energy shortage of 1973–74.
  • The lights came back on only after the local utility, Commonwealth Edison, assured the building owners that this off-peak electricity use would not drain the city’s power resources.
  • The 1971 floodlights were replaced with more focused beams in 2005 to reduce light pollution.
  • The Wrigley Building has an Energy Star rating and LEED Silver Core and Shell certification.