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Schoenhardt exits Simsbury Free Library board after two decades of notable service

Updated: Feb 2, 2022

The legacy of architect Richard Schoenhardt can be seen throughout Simsbury in the many buildings he has designed. However, his behind-the-scenes work as a member of the Simsbury Free Library's board of trustees for 22 years has made an indelible impact.

Therefore, with a mixture of gratitude and sadness the board has announced that Schoenhardt, 87, has stepped down from his position.  

“Rick’s accomplishments during his tenure have enriched every aspect of the library,” says board vice chairman Tara Willerup. “We will all miss his unique skill set and dedication to history, education and preservation.”

Rick was invited to join the board in 1997 by friends who were members. During Rick’s term he was responsible for many amazing achievements:

• Maintenance and improvements of the building.

• Restoration of the planting along the classical front railing.

• Building of the terrace at the front.

• Protective glazing over the round windows.

• Repainting of the vestibule to original design.

• Restoration of historic paintings.

• Rebuilding of the steam boiler.

• Design of the archives in the basement.

Rick’s son, Matthew Schoenhardt, 52, a realtor with William Raveis and resident of Simsbury, will succeed his father as a member of the board.

“I am thrilled that I can still have a connection to the library as my son continues the vital mission of this organization,” Rick says. “In addition to the restoration and preservation of original building features and artwork, the accomplishment I am most proud of during my time is instilling a love of history and service in Matt.”

Matt and his wife Jo created the nonprofit Logan’s Foundation for Childhood Cancer, which raises money to help families battling childhood cancer, after losing their son Logan to cancer in 2017.

Rick says his future plans are to stay at home with his wife Lynne, read, and continue volunteering at his church.

“Rick’s dedication to elevate the Simsbury Free Library to prominence as one of the top historic resources in Connecticut has been an inspiration to us all,” says Willerup. “We wish him a long and healthy retirement with his family.”

About Simsbury Free Library

The Simsbury Free Library (the Simsbury Genealogical and Historical Research Library), located at 749 Hopmeadow Street in Simsbury, promotes interest in genealogy and history by providing access to research material and expertise, artifacts, and educational and cultural programs, to help visitors develop the skills required to create family trees, search local histories, look up census records, explore vital records, etc.

The Simsbury Free Library — aka the Gracious Yellow Lady — is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the second and fourth Saturdays of the month from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. as well as by appointment. For more information, visit or call (860) 408-1336.

Source — Alliances by Alisa for the Simsbury Free Library


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