The most-loved works of Wisconsin-born architect Frank Lloyd Wright can be viewed at the SC Johnson headquarters campus in Racine, just 25 miles south of Milwaukee.
Racine County sits on the lovely shores of Lake Michigan and is a little over an hour’s drive from Chicago O’Hare International Airport. The corporate headquarters is home to the largest commercial and residential Frank Lloyd Wright combo: the SC Johnson Administration Building and Wingspread.
Completed in 1939, the administration building includes The Great Workroom, which covers nearly a half-acre of floor space. Its 31-feet-tall, golf-tee shaped columns have been deemed one of the most advanced structural supports in modern architecture. And Wingspread, a 14,000-sqaure-foot private residence Wright designed, was the home of H.F. Johnson, third-generation leader of SC Johnson, and now serves as an international educational conference facility open for tours.
Also on the SC Johnson campus is the Golden Rondelle Theatre, which was constructed at the 1964-65 World’s Fair in New York and moved to Racine. It houses community events as well as a shifting schedule of films.
Beyond the area’s architectural tours, groups can visit the Wind Point Lighthouse, the oldest and tallest working lighthouse on Lake Michigan. It’s an arduous hike up the 144 steps, but the views are rewarding: beautiful countryside and the northern shores of Racine Harbor. The original 1880’s-era mineral oil lamp, with its beacon magnified by a French-imported Fresnel lens, was converted in 1964 to electricity. Tower climbs are offered the first Sundays of June, July, August, September, and October.
Top photo: The SC Johnson Administration Building
Photo by realracine.com