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Kenneth Schwartz, former San Luis Obispo mayor, dies at age 94

kenneth schwartz
Posted at 4:54 PM, Oct 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-20 19:54:04-04

Kenneth "Ken" Schwartz, former San Luis Obispo Mayor and known as the "Father of Mission Plaza", died at 94 years old Saturday.

Schwartz's family says he dedicated his life to bringing peace and beauty to a city he loved, living in San Luis Obispo for nearly 70 years.

Following an honorable discharged from the Army Air Corps, he graduated USC in 1952.

Then Schwartz worked as a professor, associate dean and interim dean for more than 36 years Cal Poly's College of Architecture and Environmental Design.

He first joined San Luis Obispo city staff as a member of the Planning Commission which he chaired for 6 years.

With the help of Cal Poly Students, Mr. Schwartz rallied city voters to close Monterey Street in front of the mission and transform it into the Mission Plaza we all know and love today.

This plan fostered 10 more years of service to the city as its mayor.

After 50 years of public service, Schwartz continued to give back to his community, supporting the Camp Fire Girls and the Boy Scouts and SLO Art Museum.

He was predeceased by Martha Schwartz, his high school sweetheart, in 2004.

Schwartz's family says plans for a memorial service will be announced soon. His family members are asking that gifts or contributions be made to local charities and non-profits including:

  • San Luis Obispo's Children's Museum
  • San Luis Obispo Museum of Art
  • Central Coast Chapter of Camp Fire
  • Santa Lucia Council Boy Scouts
  • American Institute of Architects
  • The Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County
  • League of Women's Voters
  • City of San Luis Obispo