Johnson: More than baseball at spring training in Arizona

From SABR member Sarah Johnson at the Minneapolis Star-Tribune on March 4, 2016:

It was as if a fairy had dusted everyone with happy powder: walking around Sloan Park for the first Cubs spring training game last March in Arizona, fans seemed almost giddy to be watching baseball again on a perfect, 75 degree cloudless afternoon. As I enjoyed sitting outside listening to the crack of the bat, I pondered what to do the next morning before venturing to Tempe Diablo Stadium for an exhibition contest between the Angels and Rockies.

To keep the baseball theme going, I checked out the Wrigley Mansion, built between 1929 and 1931 by William Wrigley, the chewing gum magnate and owner of the Chicago Cubs, who still play in the stadium that bears his name during the regular season. The stark white structure sits on a 100-foot knoll and boasts 24 rooms and 17 bathrooms. Featuring unobstructed views of downtown Phoenix and Camelback Mountain, it was called “La Colina Solana,” or the sunny hill.

Placed on the national register of historic places in 1989, it was commissioned by Wrigley as a 50th anniversary present to his wife, Ada. While some would say it “blends” elements of Spanish Colonial Revival, California Monterey and Mediterranean architecture, Frank Lloyd Wright had a different view – he called it “an architect’s desecration” because of the incongruent styles. (After hearing this, Wrigley had his main staircase designed in Wright’s signature style so people would think he designed the property.)

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Originally published: March 7, 2016. Last Updated: March 7, 2016.