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Friday, September 24, 2021

Boca Raton Historical Society & Museum Announces $1 Million Donation from The Schmidt Family Foundation

Funds Earmarked for Reimagination, Redesign and Renovation of the Newly Renamed


The Board of Trustees of the Boca Raton Historical Society today announce a generous $1 million donation from The Schmidt Family Foundation, led by Barbara and Dick Schmidt, to rename the museum the Schmidt Boca Raton History Museum (SBRHM). Funds from this donation will be used to sponsor the Museum’s public display areas, new immersive exhibits, and internal gathering spaces, including the historic Council Chamber and heavily-used research library.

“The history of Boca Raton is important to our community, so it is important to me and my family, a legacy that began with my parents, Charles and Dorothy Schmidt,” Dick Schmidt declared during a recent tour of the completely renovated museum that is housed in the city’s historic Town Hall, located at 71 N. Federal Highway in downtown Boca Raton (33432).

“The Schmidt Family Foundation has been a longtime partner and generous supporter of this museum going all the way back to Boca Raton’s original downtown redevelopment plan in the 1980s,” says Mary Csar, Executive Director. “This donation—one of the largest in the Museum’s nearly 50-year history—will underwrite a significant portion of our ongoing top-to-bottom reimagination, redesign and renovation, leading up to our official reopening and relaunch later this year.”

“The Schmidt Family Foundation is proud to support the purpose and community outreach of this truly valuable organization,” says Barbara Schmidt. “The redubbed Schmidt Boca Raton History Museum meets our mission of strengthening and enriching our community through education.”

“The historic Boca Raton Town Hall has been our home since the mid-1980s,” says Csar. “But, due to space limitations, our exhibitions have been temporary and largely two-dimensional. Not any longer. The dynamic redesign of the new Schmidt Boca Raton History Museum will allow for both permanent and changing exhibitions that will appeal to families, students and research buffs of all ages—a project we call History Alive!”

The new exhibits will bring to life the growth and development of Boca Raton from a small farming town to the dynamic internationally known city it is today. They incorporate artifacts and images from the museum’s extensive local history collections.

The new permanent galleries include:

+ Boca Raton Timeline, starting with the earliest Pre-Columbian inhabitants up to the 21st Century.

+ Pioneer, focused on the local heritage of a small farming community.

+ Addison Mizner, featuring the museum’s important collection of Mizner Industries and architectural drawings and images of the great architect’s plans, which put the tiny town of Boca Raton on the map in the 1920s.

+ World War II, when the Boca Raton Army Air Field served as the Air Corps’ top secret radar training facility.

+ IBM, celebrating Boca Raton as the home of the IBM PC personal computer.

In addition, the Council Chamber will feature display areas and cabinetry for changing exhibits and will also function as the museum’s lecture hall. The redesigned Research Library will house the Society’s extensive archival collections and provide workstations for research patrons.

The Boca Raton Historical Society is still raising funds for this ambitious renovation, and naming opportunities are still available, from the gift shop, research library and council chambers to individual decades within the captivating historical timeline that runs the full length of the museum. Anyone interested in helping to preserve and promote Boca Raton’s amazing history can do so by contacting Mary Csar directly at 561.395.6766 or

About the Schmidt Boca Raton History Museum:

The Schmidt Boca Raton History Museum is the home of the Boca Raton Historical Society, whose mission is to collect, preserve, and present information and artifacts relevant to the past and evolving history of Boca Raton and to maintain a visible role in the education and the advocacy of historic preservation in the community. Although closed to the public for more than a year due to the COVID pandemic, the Historical Society used this time to complete the History Alive! project.

The museum is located in Historic Town Hall at 71 N. Federal Highway in downtown Boca Raton (33432). For more information, please call 561.395.6766 or visit

Available for Interview:
Mary Csar, Executive Director
The Schmidt Boca Raton History Museum 561.395.6766, x-104 /
Media Contact:
Gary Schweikhart
561.756.4298 /