Man who helped design Cal Poly's El Corral Bookstore, Santa Barbara Bowl passes away at 68

Aug 12, 2015

Bruce Bartlett, a well-known Central Coast architect whose projects included Cal Poly's El Corral Bookstore and the Santa Barbara Bowl, passed away Friday from pancreatic cancer. 

The Santa Barbara Bowl was one of Bruce Bartlett's many well-known Central Coast design projects.
Credit flickr member Mark Krynsky - Depeche Mode concert, 2013

Bartlett got his architecture degree from Cal Poly and went on to co-found a major Santa Barbara-based firm Design ARC. The firm eventually expanded to include another office in Los Angles.

Business partner Mark Kirkhart says Bartlett—and his many projects—have left a lasting impression on the Central Coast.

"Bruce, besides being a fabulous architect, was also really dedicated to community service," said Kirkhart. "It's a real loss to the community, a real loss to me personally, a loss to my business. He's going to be sorely missed."

Bartlett served eight years on the Santa Barbara Planning Commission where he pushed for more workforce housing under the city's general plan, according to Kirkhart.

One of his lasting contributions to the city is still in the process of being completed. It's an 89 unit workforce housing apartment complex on upper State Street. Bruce Bartlett was 68 years old. Kirkhart said he believes the project is the largest of its kind to be built in the city over the past 50 years.