Wrigley Field has been an iconic cultural site in Chicago for generations. Outside of the Willis Tower, it’s probably the single most famous building in the city. Now, it’s officially a national historic landmark.
The historic landmark designation now allows the Ricketts family to apply for federal tax credits for the recent ballpark renovations. Those multi-year initiatives were called the 1060 Project (a nod to Wrigley’s address) and began after the 2014 baseball season. Included in the project was a revamped clubhouse, moving the bullpens under the bleachers, expanding the bleachers and adding new video boards, among other changes.
Wrigley has also become more than a baseball field. It has hosted concerts since 2005 and the new Gallagher Way just outside the park hosts events like Christkindlmarket and free movie nights for the community to enjoy.
But there’s no guarantee Wrigley will be a national landmark forever. Soldier Field lost its landmark status in 2006 after major renovations significantly changed its appearance.
Wrigley Field was built in 1914. It hosted its first major league ballgame in April of that year between the Federals (who were the home team) and the Kansas City Packers. At the time it was named Weeghman Park and didn’t adopt the name Wrigley Field until 1926. From 1921-1970 it was also the home of the Chicago Bears, and it hosted the Chicago Cardinals from 1930-1938. It is the second-oldest major ballpark, behind only Fenway Park in Boston.