Saturday, May 5 is Open House Racine County (OHRC), a day-long celebration of our county's interesting places. You'll experience fascinating architecture, local history, home-grown art and much more! Plus, It's all free! We're dedicating this week's itinerary to Racine County's historic architecture.

 

The Johnson Foundation at Wingspread

Wingspread (HD)

Herbert Johnson Jr. commissioned Frank Lloyd Wright to build Wingspread, his 14,000 sq. ft. Prairie style home, which was completed in 1939. The home was occupied by Mr. Johnson and his wife, Irene Purcell, and his two children, Karen and Sam. In 1959 they donated the home so it could be converted into the conference center, which it is now known as The Johnson Foundation at Wingspread.

When entering Wingspread you will begin to understand Mr. Wright's emphasis on manipulation. The compressed entry ceiling pushes you into the grandeur of the Great Hall, with its central wigwam. Numerous windows allow the outdoors to be brought indoors, a goal of Mr. Wright's architecture. We hope you will enjoy visiting!

The DeKoven Center Great Hall

DeKoven

The DeKoven Center continues a legacy of education, spiritual reflection and recreation, sponsoring monthly retreats and quiet days, hosting quarterly retreats and conferences led by nationally known speakers, and promoting a variety of events and programs in the arts. The Center also has a full range of gym and pool classes and activities. We invite individuals and groups of all faiths to visit and use our historic campus and its unparalleled facilities.

SC Johnson Administration Building & Research Tower

SC Johnson headquarters

In 1936, third generation SC Johnson leader H.F. Johnson Jr. sought out the architect Frank Lloyd Wright. The SC Johnson Administration Building, which opened in 1939, is celebrated as one of the top 25 buildings of the 20th century. The Great Workroom is truly a unique work of art that reflects the innovation and adventure that are still the spirit of SC Johnson today. The Research Tower opened in 1950. Both are on the National Register of Historic Places. Wright designed more than 40 different pieces of furniture for the Administration Building, each created to reflect aspects of the building's overall design.

Tours of the SC Johnson Administration Building and Research Tower will last one hour and are offered at 9AM, 11AM, 1PM, and 3PM. Maximum capacity of 48 visitors per tour offering on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Racine County Courthouse

Courthouse

The courthouse, art deco style, was designed in 1930 by Holabird & Root Architects (famous architecture includes Soldier Field, Wrigley Field  Hand-turned Scoreboard and Center Field Bleachers) - Chicago, Illinois - and constructed at the cost of $1.5M. It was completed and occupied in July 1931. In 1984, the building was remodeled and repaired at the cost of $7M. There is a sub-basement, basement and eleven stories - reaching 155 feet high. The exterior is faced with Bedford limestone from Indiana. Materials used in and throughout the building are stone and marble. There are six courtrooms finished in American Walnut, Austrian and English Oak.

Visitors to the Racine County Courthouse will have an opportunity to visiting the following offices: 1st Floor: Register of Deed's Office - view real estate records back to 1836, learn about vital records and genealogy searching. The office will also be open to issue birth certificates and real estate forms / records. 4th Floor: Ceremonial Courtroom, Circuit Court Judge's Chambers, Law Library and Jury Room 10th Floor: County Executive's Office, meet County Executive Johnathan Delgrave.

Racine Masonic Center

Masonic Center

The Racine Masonic Center features two historic structures blended together. A three story Italianate mansion from 1856 is joined by the Masonic Temple built in 1922. The mansion was built by early Racine businessman Henry Durand and his family who lived there until 1890 .

Visitors will use the Wisconsin Avenue entrance or the elevator entrance off the parking lot. All three floors of the Temple will be open. This includes the Charles Kopecky dining room, the formal ballroom, the hall of history, and the two Lodge rooms, Doric and Egyptian Halls. The different areas will be staffed by volunteers with information about the facility and each area will feature information about one of the Masonic organizations which continue to work in our community.

 

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