William Boucher III Large legacy: Instrumental in making vision of Charles Center, Inner Harbor reality.

November 15, 1995

TO MANY Baltimoreans and Marylanders, William Boucher III was the embodiment of this city's downtown rebirth. He served as the business community's prime spokesman and point man both to the public and to city and state officials. His articulation of the Charles Center and Inner Harbor visions and his rock-solid determination helped make them a reality.

For a quarter-century, Mr. Boucher held the title of executive director of the Greater Baltimore Committee. He was the business group's staff leader as dreams of a revived downtown were slowly converted into bricks and mortar. It was his task to guide GBC plans through the political maze at City Hall and the State House. He did so with enormous effectiveness.

But Mr. Boucher, who died Monday at 76, was more than a lobbyist. He often fleshed out ideas flowing from GBC leaders and translated them into proposals that found political and public acceptance. He provided the staff leadership the GBC CEOs needed.

His tenure started in the D'Alesandro era of the 1950s and concluded in the 1980s during the Schaefer era. Charles Center took root and was completed; the Inner Harbor redevelopment was launched; a subway line was constructed. In all this, he played a key role.

There was another side to Bill Boucher. In the 1980s and 1990s, he spoke up for Morgan State University's role in educating minority students. "He could articulate Morgan's mission as well as I could," said Earl S. Richardson, Morgan's president, who began his tenure the same year Mr. Boucher was named to the school's board of trustees. "Bill had a great grasp of the urban condition and all its nuances for educating inner-city kids."

Baltimore was part of Bill Boucher's heart and soul. That was one reason he succeeded so often. He cared deeply about making the city a better place to live -- and a better, more viable community for future generations.

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