RACINE, Wis., October 2, 2015 – SC Johnson announced today that it is expanding its free tour program of the iconic Frank Lloyd Wright-designed architecture at its Racine, Wis., global headquarters during the Chicago Architecture Biennial. SC Johnson’s Administration Building is the only Frank Lloyd Wright-designed office space still in use today.
From October 3 to January 3, 2016, SC Johnson will offer free tours and motorcoach transportation from the Chicago Cultural Center to the Racine campus and back.* Tours will be offered Thursday through Sunday and reservations are required.
In addition, SC Johnson will open its campus for “Wright at Night” evening tours for the first time and host five free community interest programs on architecture at the company’s headquarters in Racine. These programs will include films and speakers. Free motorcoach transportation will be available for these events to and from Chicago.
SC Johnson’s support of the Chicago Architecture Biennial reflects the company’s long-standing commitment to preserving the legacy of Frank Lloyd Wright and creating important architectural works in the region. The company’s campus features two world-renowned signature Frank Lloyd Wright-designed buildings, the Administration Building, which opened in 1939, and its vertical complement, the Research Tower, which opened in 1950. The company restored the Research Tower and opened it to the public in 2014.
SC Johnson is a $1 million regional sponsor of the Chicago Architecture Biennial.
Expanded Tour Opportunities
Biennial participants can board free motorcoaches each Thursday through Sunday at 10 a.m. CT from downtown Chicago to SC Johnson’s global headquarters in Racine, Wis., for a unique tour to experience a number of remarkable, world-renowned Wright-designed buildings. “Wright at Night” trips will leave at 3 p.m. CT.
Wright and SC Johnson
SC Johnson’s relationship with architectural icon Frank Lloyd Wright began in 1936, when third generation SC Johnson leader H.F. Johnson Jr. sought out the architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Designs were in development for the company’s new Administration Building, but H.F. wanted a new, more modern approach, even though ground had already been broken and construction was set to start. H.F. later explained, “Anybody can build a typical building. I wanted to build the best office building in the world, and the only way to do that was to get the greatest architect in the world.” Thus began a relationship between Frank Lloyd Wright and SC Johnson that continues to this day.
Today, two Wright-designed buildings at SC Johnson’s Racine headquarters are on the National Register of Historic Places—the Administration building and Research Tower. The Administration Building features more than one-half acre of open workspace in the Great Workroom, as well as circular elevators that run from the basement to the Penthouse level, giving a panoramic view of the building. In 1936, H.F. also commissioned Wright to design a home for his family. Completed in 1939, Wingspread sits on 30 acres and was the last and largest of Wright’s Prairie houses.
The creativity and innovation of the Wright buildings continues to inspire many aspects of SC Johnson’s business—from research and product development, to culture and values, to how employees view their work on a day-to-day basis. You can see this inspiration in some of the company’s best known products, like Raid®, Glade®, OFF!® and Pledge®, which were all invented in the Research Tower.
*No tours will be offered on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve. In addition, Saturday and Sunday tours on December 26 and December 27 will not include a visit to Wingspread, as it is closed for the holidays. On these days, buses return to Chicago approximately one hour earlier.
**Tours include indoor and outdoor spaces, and guests should be comfortable standing, walking and climbing. The Research Tower is accessible only by stairs.
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 129-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
About the 2015 Chicago Architecture Biennial
The inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial takes its title, “The State of the Art of Architecture,” from a 1977 conference organized by architect Stanley Tigerman, which invited leading American designers to Chicago to discuss the current state of the field. The Chicago Architecture Biennial will expand the spirit and scope of this event. It will invite both emerging and established practices from across the world to Chicago to demonstrate how groundbreaking advances in architectural design are tackling the most pressing issues of today. In this way, it will enrich Chicago’s unique role in history as a crucible of architectural innovation. The setting for a succession of pivotal episodes in modern architecture and urbanism, and a context in which architects such as Louis Sullivan, Frank Lloyd Wright and Mies van der Rohe developed revolutionary projects, Chicago will operate as a nexus for the ideas and practices that are driving global architectural culture in the 21st century. www.chicagoarchitecturebiennial.org