In 2013, SC Johnson’s Research Tower went through an extensive restoration that involved exterior and interior updates.
RACINE, Wis., April 18, 2017 – On June 8, the 150th birthday of famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright will be celebrated, and design enthusiasts around the world are preparing for special events to commemorate and honor one of America’s most innovative architects.
Less than an hour from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the SC Johnson world headquarters is home to two Frank Lloyd Wright-designed buildings—the Administration Building (opened in 1939) and the Research Tower (opened in 1950). Both buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places and open to the public for free tours.
The 15-story Research Tower is the birthplace of some of the company’s most iconic, trusted brands; like Raid®, Glade®, Pledge® and OFF!®. While it hasn’t been in active use for 30 years, the Research Tower still remains a visible reminder of the great spirit of innovation that continues to drive the company.
“For almost 80 years, the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed buildings at SC Johnson’s global headquarters have served as a source for inspiration for all who visit,” said Kelly M. Semrau, Senior Vice President - Global Corporate Affairs, Communication and Sustainability, SC Johnson. “The Research Tower is an important part of our company’s legacy. We’re proud of our history and of the opportunity to share it with the public.”
The company is committed to preserving the history of its Wright-designed treasures. In 2013, the Research Tower went through an extensive 12-month restoration, which involved both exterior and interior updates. The Research Tower was opened for free public tours in spring 2014.
More than 7,000 Pyrex glass tubes are featured throughout the Tower to construct the building’s numerous windows. If the glass tubes in the Tower were laid end to end they would span 17 miles, roughly the size of 586 stacked Research Towers.
When it opened, there was nothing in place to shade the building from light. It is said that it was so bright in the early days that scientists were issued sunglasses until window shades could be installed.
There are 15 stories and 232 stairs. The Tower consists of a series of square floors accompanied by round mezzanine levels. The mezzanine levels were not enclosed, which allowed for easier communication between the scientists.
The Research Tower is one of the tallest structures ever built on the cantilever principle. It stands 153 feet tall and its central core, which is 13 feet in diameter, extends 54 feet into the ground. All 15 floors of the Research Tower are supported by the “taproot” core; much like a tree supports its branches.
The Johnson family’s commitment to innovation and Frank Lloyd Wright’s visionary design have gone hand in hand for nearly 80 years. At our campus, visitors can experience a rich history of exploration and innovation in architecture that has drawn increasing global interest.
In 2016, the Frank Lloyd Wright Trail was established, connecting many of Wright’s architectural sites across Wisconsin to make it easier for tourists from around the globe to experience and enjoy Wright’s legacy in his home state. The Trail includes nine stops in southern Wisconsin.
SC Johnson welcomes visitors to experience our Frank Lloyd Wright-designed buildings Thursday through Sunday. The company’s 2017 building tour season kicks off Friday, May 5 with the gallery titled, “The SC Johnson Gallery: At Home with Frank Lloyd Wright” along with a new exhibit, opening in early June. It will feature 26 to-scale models of some of Frank Lloyd Wright’s designs from far and wide. While the tours are free, reservations are required. To learn more about SC Johnson’s free tours and to make a reservation, visit www.scjohnson.com/visit
About SC Johnson
SC Johnson is a family company dedicated to innovative, high-quality products, excellence in the workplace and a long-term commitment to the environment and the communities in which it operates. Based in the USA, the company is one of the world's leading manufacturers of household cleaning products and products for home storage, air care, pest control and shoe care, as well as professional products. It markets such well-known brands as GLADE®, KIWI®, OFF!®, PLEDGE®, RAID®, SCRUBBING BUBBLES®, SHOUT®, WINDEX® and ZIPLOC® in the U.S. and beyond, with brands marketed outside the U.S. including AUTAN®, TANA®, BAMA®, BAYGON®, BRISE®, KABIKILLER®, KLEAR®, MR MUSCLE® and RIDSECT®. The 131-year-old company, which generates $10 billion in sales, employs approximately 13,000 people globally and sells products in virtually every country around the world. www.scjohnson.com