What do products like Raid and Pledge have to do with architect Frank Lloyd Wright? Plenty. Headquarters for brand maker SC Johnson in Racine, Wis., are housed inside Wright-designed buildings that look as modern as the 20th-century day they were built. Now, for the first time, the company plans to offer visitor tours in spring.
The company is accepting reservations for free tours on Fridays and Saturdays that will be offered from May 2 through Sept. 27.
In the 1930s, H.F. Johnson, son of the company's founder, sought out Wright to build the company's "lily-pad style" Administrative Building. It was completed in 1939, and the Research Tower followed in 1950. Both buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places.
The tower became the creative hub of the company where scientists formulated some of SC Johnson's most popular household products for more than three decades, the company says in a statement. The 15-story cantilevered tower closed in 1982, and was restored last year inside and out, replacing more than 20,000 bricks and 5,800 glass tubes used in the windows.
The Landmarks Tour will take visitors to two floors of the tower that showcase Wright's ingenuity and explore a model of a 1950s research lab. Drawings, photos and letters between Johnson and Wright are on exhibit too.
The company also offers a one-hour Gallery Tour where the current exhibition, "The Two Taliesins," details Wright's designs for his winter and summer homes.