Wrigley Building - Rosebank, Staten Island

September 9th, 2008 -

The Wrigley Building is an abandoned 1917 chewing gum factory in Rosebank and part of Staten Island's historic chewing gum heritage. Modern chewing gum was invented on the island with the help of General Santa Ana, the former eleven-time President of Mexico. In 1869, while living in exile on the island, he sold a ton of Mexican chicle to local inventor Thomas Adams. Adams hoped to make rubber tires from the substance. Instead, he created chewing gum. By 1884, he had introduced the world's first flavored stick of gum - Black Jack - which opened the door for future chewing gum kings like the Wrigley Brothers.

The Wrigley Building, referred to in a recent New York Times article about Rosebank, was once used to process chicle. It is not clear when the factory was abandoned, but numerous reports of squatters living in the factory and "kids hanging out in it" date back to 1990. It is now empty, like the abandoned ice factory across the street and the color works nearby. As Rosebank's transformation from industrial to residential continues, this historic factory may soon become a condominium with "92 luxury units."

For further information on gum, read "Chewing Gum: An Unofficial History."


  1. wonderful photographs, wonderful history...a great glimpse into a perhaps forgotten part of where the story of chewing gum in the United States first began...amazing stuff!

    gum guy

  2. Great shots Nathan! I'm craving a stick of gum now.

  3. please dont blow up spots so obviously like this

  4. Thanks gum guy and John!

    And to anonymous- this spots been dead for a long time. If you have a problem with me blowing it up, put your name down, and we can talk.

  5. Nate,
    awesome shots, awesome place. I am really surprised to see a 'new' building here in your picture stream. Looks like we 'Urbexers' still have some new places to explore, even if it seems like we've seen them all. Thanks for the history.

  6. wonderful place. it might help in the search i have going for places i can shoot footage in for a youtube show.