The SLO Life
Article by: Wikipedia Photos by: Brady Teufel
Surf, Sunshine, and Serendipity
or SLO, is the county seat of San Luis Obispo County and is adjacent to Califoran Luis Obispo nia Polytechnic State University. The popu(Spanish for St. Louis, the lation was 45,119 at the 2010 census. Bishop) is a
city in California, located roughly midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco on the Central Coast. Founded in 1772 by Spanish Fr. Junípero Serra, San Luis Obispo is one of California’s oldest communities. The city, referred to locally as San Luis
History The earliest human inhabitants of the local area were the Chumash peoples. One of the earliest villages lies south of San Luis Obispo, and reflects the landscape of the early Holocene when
estuaries came farther inland. These Chumash people exploited marine resources of the inlets and bays along the Central Coast and inhabited a network of villages including sites at Los Osos and Morro Creek. San Luis Obispo was also a popular stop on both U.S. Route 101 and California State Route 1 with the rise of car culture. Due to its popularity as a stop, it was the loca-
tion of the first motel, the Milestone Mo-Tel. Among San Luis Obispo’s historical buildings is the former San Luis Obispo Carnegie Library, located at 696 Monterey Street. The San Luis Obispo Carnegie Library was built in 1905 with a grant of $10,000 from Andrew Carnegie, who funded the establishment of 142 California libraries in the early 1900s. The Romanesque style building was de-
Shell Beach is a popular weekend getaway among Cal Poly students.
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them, 5,690 (29.6%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 1,336 (7.0%) had a female householder with no husband present, 586 (3.1%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 1,104 (5.8%) unmarried oppositesex partnerships, and 124 (0.6%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. There were 20,553 housing units at an average density of signed by architect W. makeup of San Luis 1,589.5 per square H. Weeks of Watson- Obispo was 38,117 The Census reported mile (613.7/km²), of ville, California and that 43,937 people (84.5%) White, 523 was built by contrac- (1.2%) African Amer- (97.4% of the popula- which 7,547 (39.3%) were owner-occupied, tor Joseph Maino of ican, 275 (0.6%) Na- tion) lived in houseand 11,646 (60.7%) San Luis Obispo. Lots of mystery sur- were occupied by renters. The homerounds the ‘underowner vacancy Demographics was 1.6%; the ground city’, or the se- rate rental vacancy rate ries of tunnels that exists was 5.7%. 17,225 The 2010 United people (38.2% of the States Census reportbeneath the city.” population) lived in ed that San Luis Obis- tive American, 2,350 holds, 967 (2.1%) owner-occupied houspo had a population lived in non-institu(5.2%) Asian, 65 ing units and 26,712 of 45,119. The popu- (0.1%) Pacific Island- tionalized group quarpeople (59.2%) lived lation density was er, 1,973 (4.4%) from ters, and 215 (0.5%) in rental housing 3,489.4 people per other races, and 1,816 were institutionalized. units. square mile (1,347.3/ (4.0%) from two or There were 19,193 km²). The racial more races. Hispanic households, out of or Latino of any race which 3,178 (16.6%) had children under were 6,626 persons (14.7%). the age of 18 living in
Resovoir Canyon has many picturesque waterfalls throughout the popular hiking trail.
ing and is home to the San Luis Obispo International Film The Madonna Inn is Festival. Another desa famous local landtination is Bubblegum mark. Established Alley. Since about by Alex Madonna in 1960, people have 1958, the inn is fabeen sticking chewed mously eccentric. The gum on the walls of Fremont Theater, a this alley. The dochistoric Art Deco thetor’s office on the ater from the 1940s, corner of Santa Rosa still plays first run and Pacific streets is movies on the huge one of very few comscreen. Murals adorn mercial buildings the walls of the main designed by Frank theater while neon Lloyd Wright. San swirls light the ceilLuis also has a Carning. The Palm Theatre egie Library which is boasts solar heatnow home to the San
Luis Obispo County Historical Museum. A sculpture of a child and bear at the Mission in downtown San Luis Obispo. A fish was added after the photograph was taken. Lots of mystery surrounds the “underground city”, or the series of tunnels that exists beneath the city. One of the largest Mardi Gras parades West of the Missis-
sippi used to be held in San Luis Obispo, but it has been canceled recently because of difficulties related to crowd control and alcohol consumption. Cal Poly’s open house, Poly Royal, was held annually from 1933 to 1990. It was canceled in 1945 due to war rationing. It began as a show-and-tell for students to display their projects. It traces its origins to the 1904 Farmer’s Institute and
Driving on the 101 Highway can be distracting because of all the gorgeous scenery surrounding you.
Picnic Basket. By the 1980s, as the college became “the most popular...university in the 19-campus CSU system”, Poly Royal began drawing over 100,000 people from throughout the state, including 126,000 people in 1985. Concerts, parties, and other entertainment were added and it earned $3–4 million in revenue for the city
of “several hundred thousand dollars” worth of damage. A liquor store near campus, Campus Bottle, was destroyed by revelers demanding alcohol. The second night was much larger than the first as people were leaving a concert on campus and parties off-campus were broken up and revelers flooded the streets. Mayor Dunin
From the beautiful coastline, to the colorful vineyards, SLO offers a little bit of everything.”
every year. Following a “miniriot” in 1989 at an off-campus apartment during Poly Royal, the events in 1990 would cancel the event “indefinitely.” Two nights of rioting on April 28–29 led to 127 arrests, over 100 injuries and 14 police injuries on top
called the events “the worst experience in the history of San Luis Obispo.” After a meeting between Mayor Dunin and University President Warren Baker the following Monday, Poly Royal was canceled from that point forward. The name Poly Royal returned in 2001 as “Open House Presents Poly Royal”, a scaled down version that was designed for
San Luis Obispo is located in the middle of wine country. Tourists from all over are drawn to SLO vineyards to go on wine tasting tours. students and parents. San Luis Obispo has been home of several other events, including a stop on the way of the Olympic Flame Relay, the Tour of California bicycle race, Cinco de Mayo celebrations, an annual Mozart festival, held every July, and a long-standing Christmas Parade. Another
attraction is the development of Edna Valley into a wellknown wine region. Just south of the city, people can spend an afternoon wine tasting several wineries in the area with a very short drive. The wine region extends north beyond Paso Robles (30 miles north) and south to Santa Ynez
vendors sell food and goods and various visual and music artists perform for the crowds. Since June 2000, the first Thursday of every month is The Bike Happening (also known as Bike Nite) in San Luis Obispo. People gather after the Farmerâ€™s Market at the Mission Plaza with their bikes. The bikers then go around on multiple circuits on the main streets of downtown adhering to the traffic laws (for the most part). The ride is considered a fun/social ride meant to encourage people to get back on their bikes and to have fun. Each Bike Happentional Film Festival, (70 miles south). ing has a theme and Festival Mosaic, and a large portion of the During Summer the Plein Air Festival. crowd is in some cosmonths, local resitume adherent to the San Luis Obispo hosts theme. dents and visitors a Farmerâ€™s Marcongregate in the Mission Plaza for a ket every Thursday One of the cultural free outdoor concert night from 6-9PM focal centers of San every Friday evening. on Higuera Street, Luis Obispo is the between Osos and The event is called Christopher Cohen Concerts in the Plaza. Nipomo Streets. Dur- Performing Arts Cening this weekly event, ter built on the Cal Other noteworthy events include the San the street is closed to Poly Campus, which Luis Obispo Internavehicle traffic while was constructed uti-
lizing the donations of local businesses and individuals. The Performing Arts Center consists of multiple venues, including the original Spanos Theatre. The largest venue, Harmon Hall, seats 1,300. Many high school and college programs are scheduled. Local artists perform plays, music and dance. The addition of the Performing Arts Center attracts many touring performances which are usually not found in communities of comparable size to San Luis Obispo. The Summer of 2007 was the opening concert of the Forbes Pipe Organ, which was built elevated into a side wall of Harmon Hall and required the donation of a further $3 million for purchase and installation.
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