Tours Of Wright's Wingspread Now Available
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Visitors to SC Johnson’s Racine campus can now add another historic gem to their Frank Lloyd Wright tour schedule. The company announced today that it is partnering with the Johnson Foundation to expand its tour offering to include Wingspread, the remarkable home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for Herbert Fisk (H. F.) Johnson Jr., the third generation leader of SC Johnson, and his family. More after the jump... Set in a 30-acre property with a...
Visitors to SC Johnson’s Racine campus can now add another historic gem to their Frank Lloyd Wright tour schedule. The company announced today that it is partnering with the Johnson Foundation to expand its tour offering to include Wingspread, the remarkable home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for Herbert Fisk (H. F.) Johnson Jr., the third generation leader of SC Johnson, and his family. More after the jump...
Set in a 30-acre property with a wooded ravine and a series of ponds and lagoons, Wingspread's footprint makes it the largest of the Prairie Houses.
“Wingspread has special significance for my family and I’m pleased to add it to our visitor program. For me, these structures are so much more than just buildings, they are a constant reminder of some of the bold choices my grandfather made,” said Fisk Johnson, Chairman and CEO, SC Johnson. “Wright’s buildings are great architectural masterpieces and we feel a great responsibility to share his incredible work with the world.”
SC Johnson also has extended its tour schedule, which includes the Landmarks Tour highlighting the iconic SC Johnson Research Tower, through the end of the year to accommodate the increased demand over the holiday season.
The use of Kasota limestone, brick, stucco and unstained wood in Wingspread help anchor the
house to the earth, while its 30-foot-high chimney and many windows and skylight lift it toward the sky.
In 1936, in addition to commissioning the new SC Johnson Administration Building in Racine, H. F. Johnson Jr. gave Frank Lloyd Wright a more personal task – to design a new house for his family. Wingspread, named for the four wings that spread out from its central core living space, was completed in 1939.
The Johnson family lived at Wingspread through the 1950s. On June 24, 1961, the home was formally dedicated to The Johnson Foundation to be used as a conference center. In 1989, Wingspread was designated as a National Historic Landmark.
“We are excited to partner with SC Johnson to include the renowned Wingspread home in their free tour program and give Frank Lloyd Wright enthusiasts a chance to experience the wonders of this historical landmark,” said Roger C. Dower, President, The Johnson Foundation at Wingspread.
Guests can climb the spiral staircase at Wingspread to the children's crow's nest where the Johnson children would watch their father's airplane depart and arrive from business meetings.
Wingspread balances grand spaces for social gatherings with smaller, more intimate spaces in the bedroom wings. Tour highlights include the disappearing dining table, the teepee-inspired clerestory ceiling and brick central core in the great room, and the cantilevered Romeo and Juliet balcony bedroom. Visitors will also be able to climb the spiral staircase to the children’s glass-enclosed crow’s nest and sit on the Frank Lloyd Wright furniture that adorns the house.
Wright called Wingspread “the last of the Prairie houses,” and its 14,000-square-foot footprint makes it the largest of the Prairie homes as well. An array of windows and skylights flood Wingspread with natural light and beautiful views of the sky and surrounding landscape. The grounds feature 36 acres of forests, prairies, walking trails and streams.
Touring Wright’s Masterpieces at SC Johnson
SC Johnson offers guests an in-depth, comprehensive look at the company’s inspired architecture at its Racine headquarters. The two-hour Landmarks Tour includes the Wright-designed Administration Building and Research Tower, and the Foster + Partners-designed Fortaleza Hall. Guests will also have an opportunity to visit The SC Johnson Gallery: At Home with Frank Lloyd Wright and The Lily Pad, a gift shop that features exclusive SC Johnson memorabilia and Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired items.
Earlier this year, SC Johnson opened the doors of its Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Research Tower to the public for the first time ever. For 32 years, the Research Tower served as a hub of innovation and the birthplace to some of the world’s most beloved household products, including Glade®, OFF!®, Pledge® and Raid®. The tour also shares how the Tower’s architecture stimulated the creativity and cutting-edge advancements of SC Johnson’s scientists.
SC Johnson’s new extended schedule and free Wingspread tours can be booked online at www.scjohnson.com/visit or via phone at 262-260-2154.
First photo caption: The main chimney is complemented by expanses of oak veneer, and bathed in the light from overhead and from the floor-to-ceiling windows that surround the Great Room at Wingspread.
All photos courtesy SC Johnson/copyright Mark Hertzberg