Tribute to Robert Richby Senator Richard Blumenthal
Posted on 2013-03-05
BLUMENTHAL. Mr. President, today I wish to pay tribute to my dear
friend and lifelong Connecticut resident and business owner, Bob Rich,
who passed away this past November.
Born in Stamford, Mr. Rich graduated from Stamford High School in 1944 and from Princeton in 1948. He returned to Connecticut to eventually take over his father's business, the F.D. Rich Company, which had been founded in 1920. For more than 60 years, he and his brother, Frank D. Rich, Jr., grew their father's construction company into one of our Nation's foremost real estate development firms. Their family history in construction and real estate development became an important part of our national history of economic growth.
Under Mr. Rich's leadership, the F.D. Rich Company built innovative buildings where there was a great need both in Stamford, CT, and across the Nation--from shopping centers and office buildings to schools, hospitals, and hotels. In 1958 the F.D. Rich Company made its mark on our Nation's Capital when it completed the aircraft hangars for Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base. To this day, F.D. Rich continues to create interesting and functional urban and suburban buildings that add to our country's landscape.
Since his death, Mr. Rich has been deservedly memorialized for playing a significant role in revitalizing the city of Stamford between 1970 and 2000. The New York Times wrote that he ``transform[ed] Stamford from a fading industrial town suffering from severe urban blight to a thriving city which has emerged as an important center for commerce, culture, education and recreation.'' Mr. Rich led the creation of countless buildings, including an addition to the Stamford Hospital in 1967, One Landmark Square in 1973, and the Rich Forum in 1992, which continues to house the city's center for the arts.
The University of Connecticut and the Rich family are also closely connected. In 1934 Mr. Rich's father oversaw the construction of the Wilbur Cross Library at UConn's Storrs campus. When UConn opened its downtown Stamford campus, the Riches helped build the Rich Concourse, which to this day serves as a central meeting place on campus.
In addition to Bob Rich's community involvement through the F.D. Rich Company and at UConn, he was involved in numerous national and local organizations including the Boys and Girls Club of Stamford, the Regional Plan Association, and Stamford's State Street Debating Society. He and his family founded the Rich Foundation, which continues to serve nonprofit organizations, primarily in Fairfield County, enriching Connecticut's arts, education, health care, and social services.
Bob was beloved by family and friends throughout his life, and he will be remembered by countless residents who live and make memories in the spaces he built. I invite my colleagues to pay tribute to a man who forever changed the Stamford skyline and improved the community.