If the name SC Johnson is not familiar to you, go to your pantry and you would definitely find something produced by the company: Windex, Glade, Pledge, Fantastik, just to mention a few of its cleaning products that are to be found in every American home. The company, also known as Johnson’s Wax, as it started with producing wax for wooden floor, has also achieved a place in the pantheon of modern design. It was Sam Johnson, third generation ambitious entrepreneur, the man who grew the company from a $150 million wax business into a $6 billion family of companies, who commissioned Frank Lloyd Wright to build the company's headquarter in Racine, Wisconsin, along with his own Prairie House, Wingspread. The complex, built in the 30s, is composed of a research tower and the Great Workroom (above), which is defined by columns that look like lily pads, in Wright’s words. Both buildings reflect the architect's fascination with the streamlining, the visual language used by American architects during the Depression, and both were built of red bricks and Pyrex glass tubes, created by Corning Glass. The Research Tower is no longer in use but is presented just like in its heyday with a mock-up of a 1950’s laboratory as the building is included in the new Frank Lloyd Wright Heritage Trail, created by the State of Wisconsin.
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