Airport-terminal designer dies|
Richard J. Sheward, 71, of Chestnut Hill, founder of an architectural firm specializing in airport-terminal design, died of complications of diabetes Wednesday, hours after arriving at Artman Lutheran Home in Ambler. Born in Kensington, he moved to Roxborough as a child and graduated in 1952 from Roxborough High School. Mr. Sheward worked in construction and studied architecture at Drexel University at night. In 1961, he got a job with Vincent Kling Partnership, a large Center City architectural firm. In 1967, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) board certified him as an architect. While at Kling, Mr. Sheward was project manager for the construction of Terminals B, C, D and E at Philadelphia International Airport in the late 1960s and early 1970s. In 1963, Mr. Sheward married Norma Marchesani and the couple reared two sons. They lived in Glenside before moving to Chestnut Hill in 1980. In 1977, he founded Sheward Partnership in Center City. In 1991, his firm renovated the same terminals he had designed decades earlier. In 1999, his firm was part of the design team for Terminal F. The firm also designed a new terminal at Harrisburg International. It was the first airport designed and built after Sept. 11, 2001. "We had done plans for a renovation and expansion of the existing terminal, but after 9/11 the airport director realized the terminal needed new security upgrades," said son Michael, a partner at Sheward. "They decided to build a new terminal that is the national model for in-line baggage screening, larger security checkpoints and efficiency in baggage-handling." Sheward Partnership also is handling renovations of terminals at Baltimore-Washington International, at Atlantic City International, and Dulles International in Washington. The firm opened an office in Baltimore five years ago. "My father loved to work," his son said. "He had a lot of ups and downs, but he was always determined to get the job done." Sheward Partnership also restored the Art Institute of Philadelphia, 16th and Chestnut Streets, in 1984, and several schools in Philadelphia. The firm designed the federal courthouse in Allentown. Mr. Sheward was a member of the Union League and several community groups in Chestnut Hill. He never retired. In addition to his wife and son, Mr. Sheward is survived by another son, Marcus; a granddaughter; and two brothers. Friends may visit at 7 p.m. tomorrow and at 10 a.m. Monday at Koller Funeral Home, 8635 Ridge Ave. A service will be held at 11 a.m. at the funeral home. Burial will follow in George Washington Memorial Park, Plymouth Meeting. Donations may be sent to the Scholarship Foundation of the Union League of Philadelphia, 140 S. Broad St., Philadelphia 19102.