SC Johnson Wax Administration Building

I visited the SC Johnson Wax Administration Building during the Wright & Like 2016 tour in Racine, WI.  SC Johnson participated in the Wright & Like, but also offers free tours.  Schedule Your Tour Here! The tour starts in the entrance under The Golden Rondelle Theater (the big golden spaceship looking building).  Tour guides are dressed in suits. When you arrive for your tour, the tour guide will first take you to the entrance of the Research Tower where you are greeted by two giant statues. You are then allowed to roam the Research Tower at will. There is so much to see, I suggest you pick 1-2 floors and really take your time to look around. I don’t know how you can possibly see all there is to see in the amount of time allotted in the Research Tower, but no worries because the tours are free and you can come back again – that’s the great thing about SC Johnson!

After the Research Tower, the tour guide will lead you through the parking structure featuring the lily pad inspired structural beams holding up the ceiling. You are then taken inside the Administration Building.  It is like walking back in time!  Even though business still takes place inside the Administration Building, it was well preserved.   You can even sit in some of the FLLW designed furniture!  The tour takes you through the Administration Building where you can see Mr. Johnson’s office.  Several notable features that will be pointed out include the Pyrex glass tubing, the dendriform columns, the ‘bird cage’ circular elevators and the use of FLLW’s favorite color, Cherokee Red, throughout the building.

After your tour of SC Johnson Wax, you can head to the north side of Racine and visit Wingspread, the home of H.F. Johnson Jr..

Name: SC Johnson Administration Building and Research Tower

Location: 1525 Howe Street, Racine, Wisconsin, 53403

Year Built: Administration Building 1939; Research Tower 1950

Style: Usonian

Website: SC Johnson Wax



Wright in Montecito

While visiting the Santa Barbara Zoo, I thought to myself, ‘hmm, I wonder if there are any FLLW houses around here…’  I did a quick google search and discovered the George C. Stewart House was very close by in Montecito. What luck!  I quickly typed in the address and asked my companions (my boyfriend, his sister and her two daughters, ages 9 months and 3 years) if they wouldn’t mind taking a quick detour to find this house.

Hint:  When trying to locate this house, it is a little tricky as the house is behind a wall along Hot Springs Road.  If you follow the fence and turn onto Summit Road (between Hot Springs Road and Butterfly Lane), you will spot the mailbox.  You can’t miss this mailbox.  It is a prairie style mailbox, complete with board and batten.  Next to the mailbox are a few steps.  If you walk up the steps and peak your head over the fence, you will see the house.

My research has uncovered that T.C. Boyle now lives in this house.  He wrote the book The Women, which chronicles FLLW’s three different loves. I highly recommend reading this book.  I promise you, you will not regret it.

The George C. Stewart House is a private residence. I was told T.C. Boyle restored the house (Thank You, T.C. Boyle!) and that the house has a two story living room.  According to the California Travel Website (the link is below), this house was built as a vacation house for a Scottish accountant and his family and is the only Prairie Style house in California.

Name: George C. Stewart House

Location: 196 Hot Springs Road, Montecito, California, 93108

Year Built: 1910

Style: Prairie Style

Website: George C. Stewart House


Hollyhock House

The Hollyhock House is located at Barnsdall Art Park in Los Angeles, CA.  This house was FLLW’s first project in LA.  It was designed for the oil heiress, Aline Barnsdall. The house was built on Olive Hill which boasted 36 acres of land.  According to the Hollyhock website noted below, Aline’s vision was to create two smaller residences, a theater, a director’s house, a dormitory for actors, studios for artists, shops and a motion picture theater.  Aline’s dream was never fully realized and her and FLLW did not finish the project on good terms.  Because FLLW was working on the Imperial Hotel in Japan, Aline brought in Rudolph Schindler and later FLLW’s son, Lloyd Wright.  Interestingly, Aline never lived in the house. After gifting the house to the City of LA, the house was ransacked and sadly, most of its furnishings disappeared.  The furnishings in the house have been replicated.  The living room is stunning hosting a water feature in front of the fireplace.  FLLW does a great job bringing the outside inside this masterpiece.

Hint: When visiting, it is very easy to drive past Barnsdall Art Park.  The Hollyhock House is not visible from the street as it is located on top of a hill in the art park.  Look for the Barnsdall Art Park signs for the parking lot.  You can drive up to the top of the hill and park to visit the house. The park is open to the public.  Tickets for the Hollyhock House are sold in the coach house.  Access inside the house is limited to a few spaces due to ADA regulations which we were advised are being worked out, but one of the docents showed us pictures of the rest of the house on her iPad.

Name: Hollyhock House

Location:4800 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, California 90027

Year Built: 1919 – 1921

Style: California Romanza


Wright in LA

iphone-12-5-16-1171While visiting LA in November, I went on a hunt for the Frank Lloyd Wright designed houses in and around the city.  Thanks to the Hollyhock House’s website and helpful link, locating these houses was a breeze!  Over the course of several days, I was able to visit and photograph all of the FLLW houses in LA and the surrounding areas.  I will post a new blog about each house and include the photographs I’ve taken, information I’ve learned about the houses and helpful hints to locating and photographing these houses.  Enjoy!

P.S. You can see the Ennis House in this photo.  Do you see it? (Top Right Corner)