From the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Administration Building and 15-story Research Tower, to the Norman Foster-designed Fortaleza Hall, SC Johnson’s global headquarters is rich in design and history. The company’s gallery, At Home with Frank Lloyd Wright, houses an exhibit featuring lithographic plates from the Wasmuth Portfolio, a collection that has been hailed as one of the most important publications of the early modern architecture movement and established Wright as the international icon he is today.
The gallery features 43 of the Portfolio’s 100 framed lithographs as well as artifacts of Wright’s most famous work, revealing plans and perspectives of the buildings in natural landscapes. Wright’s experiences and personal struggles leading up to, and throughout, the creation of the Portfolio were the backdrop for some of his history-altering work like the SC Johnson headquarters’ Administration Building and Research Tower.
Celebrated as one of the top 25 buildings of the 20th century, the Wright-designed Administration Building, opened in 1939, features more than one-half acre of open workspace and circular birdcage-shaped elevators that run from the basement to the Penthouse level, giving visitors a panoramic view of the building. The building’s 43 miles of Pyrex glass tubing, designed by Wright to refract light and cut glare, and its dendriform (tree-shaped) columns, reflect Wright’s dedication to innovation and adventure.
Standing at 153 feet tall, the Research Tower is one of the tallest structures ever built on the cantilever principle and only one of two vertically-oriented Wright structures. The Tower recently re-opened to the public for the first time in over 30 years after extensive restoration of the building’s 22,000 bricks and 7,000 plus Pyrex glass tubes. Both buildings embrace Frank Lloyd Wright’s signature style of organic architecture, a reinterpretation of the principles of nature created by blending manmade materials with natural sunlight, greenery and other natural elements.
Last year, thousands of guests visited the Racine headquarters for award-winning tours of the buildings and facilities. With more than 50 free tours offered Wednesday through Sunday, visitors can choose from a variety of options, including the Landmarks Tour and self-guided tour. Just five miles north of the campus on the shore of Lake Michigan, visitors can also tour the iconic Wingspread, the last and largest of Wright’s iconic Prairie Style homes and a dedicated National Historic Landmark.
The SC Johnson headquarters and Frank Lloyd Wright’s visionary design have gone hand in hand for more than 75 years, and the relationship between the two defined Wright’s career as much as it defined the global headquarters. Experience the architect’s commitment to creativity and innovation that left an imprint on many aspects of the business, and see a unique piece of history that explores Wright’s impact on American architecture.
For a virtual tour of the campus click HERE.
Click HERE for more information on booking a free tour.
The Research Tower is accessible only via stairs. If you have a special need, please contact the reservation office at 262-260-2154 or email Tours@scj.com prior to your visit.