Sunday, May 4, 2014

Johnson Wax Tower Lighter & Public Tours

Beginning in May, 2014, you can now tour the famous Johnson Wax  Research Tower and Administration Buildings designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Open to the public for the first time, theses iconic buildings are the global headquarters of SC Johnson in Racine, Wisconsin. Thanks to reader, Howie for this tip. The only souvenir building replica of the Johnson Wax building was the chrome-plated figural lighter made in the 1940s. Standing 5.5" tall, it has a threaded cap on bottom reads "Johnson's Wax Research Tower/Racine Wis.  Model design is attributed to Brooks Stevens. There were approximately 2000 or more of these made and most were given to the executives that worked at Johnson Wax, as Christmas presents between 1947 and 1950. Other reports say they were also given to other
employees and customers. A wax candle of the Johnson Wax tower was also given as a Christmas gift to employees one year. The forward-looking SC Johnson leader H.F. Johnson Jr. said, “Anybody can build a typical building. I wanted to build the best office building in the world, and the only way to do that was to get the greatest architect in the world.” Administration Building opened in 1939, followed by the Research Tower in 1950. Today, both are on the National Register of Historic Places. the Research Tower is one of the tallest structures ever built on the cantilever principle. It stands 153 feet tall and its central core, which is 13 feet in diameter, extends 54 feet into the ground. All 15 floors of the Research Tower are supported by the “taproot” core, much like a tree supports its branches.

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