About Racine, Wisconsin

Racine, Wisconsin is a historic community on the shores of Lake Michigan, approximately 70 miles north of Chicago, 25 miles south of Milwaukee and 100 miles east of Madison. Its proximity to the Chicago-Milwaukee area places it near the third largest metropolitan area in the United States.

Racine’s location made it an important port and manufacturing center since it was incorporated in 1841. The city flourished throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, eventually becoming the home to major corporations.

Besides the well-known SC Johnson products like Windex and Pledge, other surprising items were invented in Racine, such as malted milk, the blender, the blow dryer and the portable vacuum cleaner. Racine’s shipping legacy continues today as it maintains a large harbor for recreational boats with an adjacent park that hosts festivals throughout the year.

Home to the Johnson family that founded S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc. in 1886, Racine has a history of architectural patronage. When Herbert Fisk Johnson, Jr. hired Frank Lloyd Wright to design and build the SC Johnson Administration Building in 1939, it was the beginning of a collaborative relationship that changed the area.

Racine’s commitment to architecture continues to this day, as the city features exciting structures such as the Racine Art Museum—designed by Brininstool + Lynch—and the Johnson Financial Group building, which houses more than 500 Johnson International employees.

A harbor in Racine, Wisconsin that focuses on two white buildings with red roofs. Lake Michigan is seen in the bottom of the photo, and dark wispy clouds are in the sky in the top center and right.
Photography: © Jeremy Atherton, 2007 via Wikimedia Commons

For more information about Racine:

Racine Area Interests

Racine’s North Beach

50-acres of beautiful sand and is a Certified Blue Wave clean beach.

Windpoint Lighthouse

Visit the museum and climb to the top for a breathtaking view.

Racine Zoological Gardens

Founded in 1923 and located on the shores of Lake Michigan the animal exhibit spaces are designed to imitate natural surroundings.

Racine Theatre Guild

This community theatre presents plays, musicals, children’s programs, a jazz series, and a comedy series.

Racine Symphony Orchestra

The oldest orchestra in the state of Wisconsin presents concerts throughout the year.

Racine Heritage Museum

Home to over 200,000 artifacts and an extensive archival collection documenting the area’s economic and cultural history.

Racine Public Library

Find materials and information in a variety of formats and explore resources and services tailored to your needs.

SC Johnson Golden Rondelle

Originally designed as the SC Johnson Pavilion at the New York World’s Fair in 1964-65, it was brought to Racine and redesiged to compliment the existing SC Johnson Administration Building.

Milwaukee Art Museum

Located only 25 miles from Racine, MAM features the Santiago Calatrava’s Quadracci Pavilion with its remarkable adjustable sunscreen.

Love Art?  You’ll Love RAM!

The mission of the Racine Art Museum is to exhibit, collect, preserve, and educate in the contemporary visual arts. Stay up-to-date about special events as well as support the mission of the largest contemporary craft collection in America: