Charles Rice (1922-2013) was a lawyer, judge, commercial real estate developer, track athlete, saxophone player, musician, opera actor, orchestra leader, jazz concert promoter, home designer and builder and entrepreneur, in short, Simsbury's Renaissance Man.
Charles Rice as a commercial real estate developer with a keen sense of design and an appreciation of historical preservation. He designed and built the Simsburytown Shops, the Welden Plaza and Fiddler's Green by mixing historic buildings and new construction to create unique destinations in the center of Simsbury. He envisioned and created the Simsbury Town Center we enjoy today.
Mr. Rice was a passionate was jazz musician; as a child saxophonist, he and his sister Marjorie on WDRC on a weekly radio show. He played in the UCONN band and in Australia during WWII. In the early 1970s, he played with the Count Basie Orchestra at the Sign of the Dog, now known as Fiddler's Green Later in life, he became a jazz concert promoter and brought several big jazz entertainers to the Farmington Valley. Charles Rice was a founding member of the Constitution National Bank in Hartford and principal partner of the last private ownership group of the Heublein Tower.
The presentation on this interesting and innovative Simsbury resident will be made by one who knew him best - his son, Chris. It will take place at 2 p.m. on March 23, 2014 (this coming Sunday) at the Ellsworth Visitor Center on the grounds of the Simsbury Historical Society (10 Phelps Lane). For more information, please call 860-658-2500. Admission at the Door: $7.00 for Members and $10.00 for Non-Members