Frank Lloyd Wright Masterpiece a Benchmark Resorts & Hotels Property
The Woodlands (Houston), Texas, January 2018 … Wisconsin’s iconic Wingspread Retreat & Executive Conference Center is now available to organizations committed to collaborative meetings with purposeful outcomes. BENCHMARK®, a global hospitality company, which has managed the property since 1991 on behalf of The Johnson Foundation at Wingspread, made the announcement jointly with The Foundation. The historic property, noted for its unique Frank Lloyd Wright architectural design, is located near Lake Michigan in Racine, Wisconsin, just 35 minutes from Milwaukee and 90 minutes from Chicago. Wingspread Retreat & Executive Conference Center is part of the prestigious Benchmark Resorts & Hotels brand portfolio.
For nearly six decades, The Johnson Foundation at Wingspread has operated with a singular mission: to create intimate, inspiring conference experiences that foster collaboration and innovative problem solving. The center will now be available to a broader, select array of meeting groups. These organizations will now be able to take advantage of Wingspread’s history, bucolic setting, skilled staff and convening expertise – all geared to creating impactful meetings. Wingspread attracts thought-leaders from many different disciplines and perspectives and offers its own comprehensive program to facilitate meetings and help guests maximize their time at Wingspread.
“The opening of Wingspread to a wider group of organizations allows us to broaden our educational and charitable mission.” says Roger Dower, Foundation President. “We believe in the power of small group convening to create real impact in our lives.”
“Benchmark is honored to be a partner in furthering The Johnson Foundation mission and vision at Wingspread,” said Alex Cabañas, Benchmark’s CEO. “We have seen the remarkable effects these unique convening models have on the meetings process and how a conference at Wingspread can generate profound and empowering change.”
An Inspired and Inspiring Space
A landmark and an architectural masterpiece, Wingspread was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright as a family home for Herbert Fisk Johnson, Jr., third-generation President and Chairman of family-owned Johnson Wax. Completed in 1939, it is one of Wright’s largest and most spectacular Prairie School designs and was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1989.
Wright’s masterful artistry imbues Wingspread with a breathtaking architectural design and landscape of lush surrounding gardens and woodlands, standing as a living testament to the architect’s vision, innovation and never-ending quest for knowledge. All of the architect’s signature elements are here – the soaring ceilings, expansive rooms and courtyards, incorporated into architecture, art, sculpture and much of the Wright-designed furniture. Exterior elements resemble a Japanese pagoda – the roof seems to float over the house. The innovative, timeless architecture of Wingspread sets the tone for gatherings of conference guests and the social aspects of a particular meeting.
The Conference Center
The Conference Center at Wingspread is a separate Prairie Style structure, built in 1959. The center includes five meeting rooms and a total of 15,000 square feet of conference space. Floor-to-ceiling windows let in natural light and offer stunning views of the gardens, ponds and grounds.
Led by Executive Chef Dave Diedrich, the property’s award-winning culinary team takes great pride in crafting a wide range of innovative and delicious plates for each event.
Wingspread Retreat & Executive Conference Center can accommodate up to 40 meeting participants in the spacious and welcoming Guest House, designed to complement the Prairie Style of Wingspread. The structure’s inviting, informal yet luxurious atmosphere beckons guests to linger in the living room to further discuss the issues of the day in an ambiance of candor and collaboration. Completed in 2001 and awarded the LEED Gold Certification, the 38,000-square-foot Guest House blends seamlessly with its natural surroundings. The building settles quietly into the bluff above a pond while its zigzag shape disguises a residence nearly three times the size of Wingspread.
Meeting Qualification Process
Meetings at Wingspread Retreat & Executive Conference Center are mission-driven, combining an inspiring, intimate setting with exceptional technical and intellectual resources of experts in their fields. It is a place for serious debate and collaborative engagement for those who seek to address and solve a particular problem and creative positive change.
Sustainability and Teambuilding
Sustainability is a core value at Wingspread and teambuilding exercises and seminars focus on nature, preservation and locally sourced food. These singular programs include an interactive seminar in Bee-Hive Honey Production at Wingspread’s onsite hives; a tour of the gardens, orchards and solar power resources; a farm-to-table cooking course featuring ingredients from Wisconsin.
The Mission of the Johnson Foundation at Wingspread
The purpose of the Johnson Foundation at Wingspread is to create intimate, inspiring conference experiences that foster collaboration and innovative problem-solving. Bringing almost six decades of convening expertise to regional, national and global groups of leaders and experts, the Foundation is wholly dedicated to convening for impact. Through its history and current activities, the Foundation serves as a model to organizations on how to have meaningful, fruitful, robust, and civil discussions on important issues.