Lighting A Beacon Of Innovation And Architecture
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December 21 marks the Winter solstice, the longest night of the year and the point at which the days will start getting longer. To celebrate this important seasonal event, SC Johnson illuminates its historic Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Research Tower and anticipates the first ever public tours of the building starting in spring 2014. Get all the details after the jump... As stated in the SC Johnson Press release: The historic tower, open from 1950 to...
December 21 marks the Winter solstice, the longest night of the year and the point at which the days will start getting longer. To celebrate this important seasonal event, SC Johnson illuminates its historic Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Research Tower and anticipates the first ever public tours of the building starting in spring 2014. Get all the details after the jump...
As stated in the SC Johnson Press release:
The historic tower, open from 1950 to 1982, served as the creative inspiration and birthplace for the company’s leading brands and products including Raid®, Glade®, OFF!® and Pledge®.
“The Research Tower has long stood as a beacon of not only light, but innovation, symbolizing SC Johnson’s commitment to bringing families popular and trusted brands that help make lives better,” said Kelly M. Semrau, Senior Vice President – Global Corporate Affairs, Communication and Sustainability. “Today’s relighting, illuminating the sky on the longest night of the year, reaffirms that commitment.”
The Research Tower is located at the heart of the company’s global headquarters at its Howe Street campus in Racine, Wis., and stands 153 feet high with 232 stairs that climb 15 stories. Opened in 1950, the Tower was home to the company’s research and development scientists, who, within 10 years of opening, developed and introduced several of its most trusted products, including Raid® (1955), Glade® (1956), OFF!® (1957) and Pledge® (1958). Today, these iconic brands continue to be market leaders, and are sold in nearly every country around the world.
While SC Johnson closed the facility in 1982, the company still lit the Research Tower every night. The lights were recently turned off during an extensive 12-month restoration, which involved both exterior and interior updates, including:
• Installation of more energy-efficient features, such as an automated light timer
• Restoration of the building’s 21,170 bricks
• Implementation of new light fixtures to replicate originals
• Restoration of the original lighting scheme
• Refurbishment of cabinet faces, walls and floors
• Replacement of more than 5,800 Pyrex glass tubes that were used to construct the building’s numerous windows
• Cleaning of more than 1,500 curved Pyrex tubes using a combination of water and Windex®, one of SC Johnson’s most popular brands
• Repainting of the third floor and mezzanine levels, including painting the cabinets Cherokee red, the signature Wright-SC Johnson color and original paint color
Beginning in spring of 2014, the Research Tower will be open to the public for the first time ever, at no charge.
“While SC Johnson has offered free public tours of the Wright-designed buildings on campus, the Research Tower, which is currently on the National Register of Historic Places, will open its doors to the public for the first time,” said Semrau. “We’re delighted to share this important piece of our legacy publicly, for the first time this spring.”
Starting in May, tours of the Research Tower will be available on Fridays and Saturdays in both the morning and afternoon. In addition, visitors can also:
• Tour the Wright-designed SC Johnson Administration Building, celebrated as one of the top 25 buildings of the 20th century
• Tour the award-winning, Foster + Partners-designed Fortaleza Hall
• Tour The SC Johnson Gallery: At Home with Frank Lloyd Wright, which showcases Wright's designs and artifacts and explores the legendary architect's influence on families and the American home
• Enjoy our films: the Academy Award-winning documentary To Be Alive! and the acclaimed Carnaúba: A Son’s Memoir, shown at the historic Golden Rondelle Theater
All tours also include a visit to The Lily Pad, a gift shop featuring exclusive SC Johnson memorabilia and brand gift merchandise, as well as Wright-inspired items.
All SC Johnson tours are free. Check out more photos of the relit Tower at the blog, Wright in Racine.
To receive more information on visiting SC Johnson’s campus or to schedule a tour, please use the online scheduling tool at www.scjohnson.com/visit, call us (262) 260-2154, or email to Tours@scj.com.
You can also learn more about this wonderful building if you pick up a copy of Frank Lloyd Wright's SC Johnson Research Tower by Mark Hertzberg and published by Pomegranate Press. Get a copy here.
All video and images copyright SC Johnson