Schmidt Boca Raton History Museum
Whether you’re a visitor, a newcomer, or a longtime resident of Boca Raton, you owe it to yourself to learn more about Boca Raton’s rich history. Let that guide be the Boca Raton Historical Society, located at historic Town Hall – easily spotted by its shining gold dome in the heart of Boca Raton. Located in Boca Raton’s original Town Hall, the Society owns a vital repository of archival information about the formative years of Boca Raton, its families, and its economy. The building’s research library houses a permanent exhibition of historic maps, photographs and documents, Mizner memorabilia, and other treasures. Originally called the Boca Raton History Center however with a generous $1 million donation from The Schmidt Family Foundation, led by Barbara and Dick Schmidt, the museum was renamed the Schmidt Boca Raton History Museum.
“The historic Boca Raton Town Hall has been our home since the mid-1980s,” says Mary Csar, Executive Director. “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 Historical Society operates its own museum store in The Schmidt Boca Raton History Museum, which appeals to the historian, tourist, and local resident. Items such as historic photographs, unusual gifts, and souvenirs of Boca Raton’s past and present are available. History books published by the BRHS, other regional history books, and The History of Boca Raton DVD are available in the History Museum Store and (coming soon) on the BRHS website.
Thank you to the History Museum for this information and photos. The museum is located at 71 N. Federal Hwy, Boca Raton. Visit BocaHistory.org for more information.