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“Worth the trip to Wisconsin for this alone”

SC Johnson Headquarters
Ranked #1 of 30 things to do in Racine
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Whether you’re a Frank Lloyd Wright fan, a unique aircraft enthusiast or simply love our household products, you’re always welcome to visit SC Johnson.We welcome visitors and offer free public tours that provide different views of the company's inspired architecture, including: •The Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Administration Building •The award-winning Foster + Partners-designed Fortaleza Hall •The SC Johnson Gallery: At Home with Frank Lloyd Wright •Film showings of the Academy Award-winning documentary To Be Alive! and the acclaimed Carnauba: A Son’s Memoir at The Golden Rondelle Theater. All tours also include a visit to The Lily Pad, our gift shop.
Margate, Florida
Level Contributor
91 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Worth the trip to Wisconsin for this alone”
Reviewed June 8, 2014

When I read that the research tower was opening for tours, I could only hope that I could book a tour. This tour was a dream fulfilled for a Wright architecture enthusiast. It was a delight being able to see the research tower as well as the administration action building. One of the tour members said her Dad had worked on the construction of the tower, so she had some stories to share which made a wonderful experience even better. Thank you to the SC Johnson company for allowing the public to access these architectural gems. The tour guide was excellent. Definitely worth the trip.

Visited June 2014
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Thank Jemmie33063
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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191 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
282 reviews
118 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 136 helpful votes
“Research Tower open at long last!”
Reviewed June 2, 2014

The SC Johnson HQ in Racine is a jewel. The restrained beauty of the administration building interior stirs the soul. Kudos to the Johnson family for preserving these buildings in mint condition - truly a gift to humanity.

We were so fortunate to be one of the first groups to see the research tower interior after decades of being closed to the public. The tour allowed us to wander around two floors of the tower which have been meticulously restored. The self-guided exhibits are fascinating.

Fortaleza Hall provides a wonderful counterpoint to the Wright structures. I loved the curved glass walls, infinity pond and etched concrete walls. It is a very elegant space. The Lily Pad gift shop has some unique items - do plan to spend some time there.

Touring the administration building, research tower and Fortaleza Hall takes about 1.5 hours and is free.

I also recommend seeing the film "To Be Alive" which is shown in the Golden Rondelle theater. It is a 17-minute, three-screen film that is just a joy to watch.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
Thank jameskul
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
118 reviews
50 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“A must see for Wright enthusiasts”
Reviewed May 19, 2014

First off, the tours are free. So, not unexpectedly, they fill up quickly so be sure to plan well in advance.

As with most Wright buildings, it is hard to believe that they are upwards of 80 years old, so appealing to the modern eye as they are. His work is truly timeless.

The research tower is a fascinating example of his form -- all cantilevers all the time. Very narrow staircases and small elevator, not to mention the trouble with the glass tube exterior, shows that Wright's buildings can at times lack for practicality. And, indeed, for many years the tower has not been used for its original purpose.

The administrative offices are of a different order. They are, as he wished them to be, something of a cathedral for work. Just walking in you are inspired to think of your work there as something serious, of a higher calling. A drab cubicle forest this is not. Would have been nice for them to juxtapose what the Johnson offices that were in use before the Wright-designed building opened looked like. The difference must have been dramatic.

The tour guide was reasonably well informed, and added a few stories to my growing knowledge of Wright eccentricities.

Visited May 2014
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1 Thank Bryan S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Evanston, Wyoming
Level Contributor
168 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“A different side of Frank Lloyd Wright - stunning commercial space”
Reviewed May 3, 2014

We were fortunate to be among the first groups to visit the Research Tower at the S.C. Johnson Headquarters, a new feature on the tour of these Frank Lloyd Wright-designed buildings. The Tower is both stunning visually and a fascinating step back in time. It's hard to say which we enjoyed seeing more, the design genius at work or the adorable retro commercials for Pledge and Raid running in between vintage laboratory stations. The Administration Building, still in use as offices for some company departments, is still gorgeous and warmer than we had expected from the old photos we had seen. There are so many charming quirks and clever uses of materials - the "birdcage" elevators, the desks designed specifically for typewriters and adding machines, the Cherokee-red file sorters and cabinets. No photos can be taken inside the buildings, so you will simply have to go see it for yourself. Don't pass up the Lily Pad Gift Shop - you will not have a lot of time to browse (they miss the boat by putting that visit in the middle and not the end of the tour) but we loved the mix of FLW swag and the stuffed Scrubbing Bubbles, and the ladies running the shop were delightful.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
Thank pureblueskies
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oak Creek, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
160 reviews
54 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
“Good tour”
Reviewed April 23, 2014

We missed the reopening of the tower by a couple of weeks, but still this was a good tour. It was interesting to see the buildings and hear about their history. Unfortunately they do not allow any photos except outside, and that was frustrating to me because there is so much that just begs to be photographed! Guess you just have to go see it. It is a free tour and worth seeing.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Christine M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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