Free Tour SC Johnson Headquarters Racine. The SC Johnson Company, as part of the Chicago Architecture Biennial, has underwritten FREE tours (including bus transport) to their Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Headquarters in Racine, Wisconsin.
If you enjoy architecture and can find the time take this FREE tour!
When: Sept. 16, 2017- Jan. 7, 2018, Tours will be offered Thursday through Sunday and reservations are required.
Thursday Tours – Buses Depart Chicago at 9:00 a.m. Return arrival at approx. 3 p.m.
Friday Tours – Buses Depart Chicago at 9:00 a.m. AND 10:30 a.m. Return arrival at approx. 3 p.m. or 4:30 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday Tours – Buses depart Chicago at 8:00 AND 12:00 p.m. Return arrival at approx. 3 p.m. or 7:00 p.m.
Where: Tour starts at Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington.
I took this tour in 2015 and it was excellent. These tours were wildly popular and were booked up quickly. This tour would probably retail for at least $100 through the Chicago Architecture Foundation so not only is it interesting and fun but it’s a huge savings.
- The bus loads in the alley behind the Cultural Center off Washington Street.
- Buses depart promptly. If you like a seat at the front of the bus arrive at least 15 minutes early..
- There was an excellent guide on the bus who provides some information about Chicago as the bus drives out of the City.
- The tour is underwritten by SC Johnson so they play a movie on the bus (to and from Racine) called Carnuaba. It was produced by the Johnson family and discusses their troubled lives and some history about the company. You may want to bring headphones. You can read bout it here and here.
- The bus stops for 30 minutes in Racine around lunch time at O&H Danish Bakery where you can pick up lunch for around $8. You’ll spend 30 min. standing in line waiting to pay and then eat on the bus. I spent the 30 minutes sitting on the O&H outdoor patio eating the food and beverage that I brought with me.
- Next stop SC Johnson. You are met by very knowledgeable SC Johnson guides and will tour:
- The Research Tower: This requires walking up and down 4 levels of very narrow stairs. Very interesting and unique building features.
- Administration Building: Pictures don’t do it justice.
- Fortaleza Hall: Beautiful and breathtaking building designed by Sir Norman Foster. Fun Fact: the Landscape Architect Gustafson Guthrie Nichol Ltd. also designed the Lurie Garden.
- The Lily Pad gift shop. Sells SC Johnson products like Windex (!) and full-price Wright books.
- Moving between these buildings requires some walking.
- NO pictures are allowed anywhere inside any building.
On weekends the tour will also stop at:
- The former SC Johnson Wright-designed home Wingspread.
- This requires some walking up and down stairs as well as the interior and the grounds in order to explore the details.
I haven’t published too many pictures so everyone can see it for themselves. Enjoy!