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Wright's Skyscraper Building for S C Johnson Open for Tours

Known for his innovative architecture for homes, groundbreaking architect Frank Lloyd Wright also designed ... skyscrapers. Although few were actually built, two remain standing, the Price Tower in Bartlesvilled, Oklahoma, and the S C Johnson building in Racine Wisconsin is now open for tours.

The season's new tour season begins in May and runs through December.

Our New Book

A History of Design for S C Johnson

Wright went on to design the company's Administration Building (1939) and the Research Tower (1950), and both buildings are now on the National Register of Historic Places. Further, in 1937, H.F. Johnson, Jr. also commissioned Wright to design a home for his family in Racine, Wisconsin. Wingspread, described by Wright as "the last of the prairie houses," is now a conference center for The Johnson Foundation. Opened in 1950 and closed in 1982, the company nonetheless continued to light the Research Tower every night (except for a year-long restoration in 2013).

One of Wright's Tree-Inspired Designs

Wright was quite taken with the similarity between tall buildings and trees -- his skyscrapers were the trees of the city. His cantilevered design has the floors spread like tree branches with elevator and stairways running up the central core (trunk) of the building. The single reinforced central core, which Wright called the tap root, is also seen in the Price Tower in Bartlesville, Oklahoma built in 1952.

Free Tours

Read more about SC Johnson Wright building open for tours at
The Landmarks Tour
The two-hour Landmark Tour is tailored for guests who would like an in-depth look at SC Johnson's inspired architecture, and the tour features the Wright-designed Administration Building, the Research Tower, the Foster + Partners-designed Fortaleza Hall, The SC Johnson Gallery and The Lily Pad, a gift shop that features exclusive SC Johnson memorabilia and Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired items.

Four main exhibit areas in the Research Tower provide visitors with an unprecedented look at one of Wright's most unique architectural achievements. Visitors will be taken back in time to experience how the Tower operated in its heyday with a full mock-up of a 1950s laboratory.

Drawings, archived photographs and correspondence between Wright and H.F. Johnson, Jr. give visitors an overview of the Tower's origin, unique role in the company's history and its influence on the local community.

The Gallery Tour
The Gallery Tour will take guests on a one-hour journey through the Foster + Partners-designed Fortaleza Hall, The SC Johnson Gallery: At Home with Frank Lloyd Wright and The Lily Pad gift shop.

A new exhibit at The Gallery, "The Two Taliesins," features Taliesin (Wisconsin), Wright's home and studio in Spring Green, and Taliesin West, his winter home and studio in Scottsdale, Arizona. Wright used both homes as laboratories where he could develop and test his architectural ideas. The exhibit will compare and contrast how Wright incorporated his signature and revolutionary "organic" design concepts into his own homes, each of which reflected the very different landscapes and climates in which they were built.

Artifacts from Wright's Wisconsin and Arizona homes will be on display that simulate their natural settings and convey their significance to the Taliesin concept. The exhibit will also feature a collection of rare photos and videos that show Wright at home. In addition, visitors will learn about the central role that color played in Wright's designs of the Taliesins.

Visitors will also have the opportunity to view films at the Golden Rondelle Theater, which was designed for the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair.

For more information on these tours go to SCJohnson Visit

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Photos: Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record/Historic American Landscapes Survey

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