Sunday, August 24, 2014

Friday field trip: SC Johnson

On Friday we toured the S. C. Johnson complex in Racine (about 15 miles north of where we live).  H. F. "Hib" Johnson, Jr., commissioned Frank Lloyd Wright to design the Research Tower and the Administration Building. The tower was opened to the public for the first time this summer.  It is a museum (frozen in time: early 1950's). The administration building is still used for administration, but with only 80 employees rather than the 200 60 years ago.
Interior photography is forbidden and there were two tour guides with our group who kept a close watch on us. No sneak snapshots!
Golden Rondelle

The visitor center is built around the Golden Rondelle, the S. C. Johnson building at the 1964 New York World's Fair. 
The pioneering airplane 
The newest building, Fortaleza Hall, is a tribute to Johnson research:  a pioneering airplane trip to Brazil.  The company created plantations to grow carnauba palms, the source of carnauba wax which was the basis of natural waxes. 

Reflecting pools between the Research Tower and the Administration Building.

Wright-designed Native American figures, to honor the first inhabitants of the Racine area. 

After the tour we had lunch at a Thai restaurant in downtown Racine. We picked up a "tour Racine" guidebook at the visitor's center, and read about the Eco-Justice Center.  It took a while to find it, but we did. Lush vegetable gardens -- how wonderful to have enough space for the plants to sprawl -- free-range turkeys and guinea fowl, and alpacas!


Libby in TN said...

My architect husband and I are both FLWright fans. The Johnson building has intrigued me for years. I would love to visit it. We were fortunate this summer to make a stop at Fallingwater in PA.

Bonnie said...

Love seeing the FL wright building and statues.