Robert E. Schwartz was born on Oct. 17, 1928 in Midland to Vera and Russell Schwartz. He passed away on Sunday, Oct. 10, 2010 at his home at the age of 81. Robert was a lifetime resident of Midland, graduating from Midland High School in 1946.
He attended Midland schools and went on to the University of Michigan to study architecture at a time when Buckminster Fuller was also working with students there and experimenting with his geodesic dome concept.
He graduated from University of Michigan, College of Architecture & Design in 1954 and began his practice in Midland, with business Charles B. Blacklock. He apprenticed under the direction of notable architects Bob Goodall from 1952-1954, Buckminster Fuller in 1954 and Glenn Beach 1955-1958. He became a registered architect in 1958. He designed a number of residences including his own residence on West Sugnet road, a dome structure made from spiral generated Styrofoam that has been nominated to the National Register of Historic Places. It was constructed in 1964, and as a student of Buckminster Fuller, he constructed the hemispherical design for his home. He worked with The Dow Chemical Company who furnished the Styrofoam and the technology to spin the dome.
In addition, he designed a total of fifteen governmental, commercial and religious buildings which include Midland’s United Church of Christ, Community Drug Store, Washington Woods Senior Citizen Housing, and Scientific Anglers/3M Offices and Plant.
Schwartz was involved in several professional and civic activities which included the U of M Presidents Club, Midland City Planning Commission, Riverfront Beautification Committee, Midland City Building Board of Appeals and many more.
Information Courtesy of the Alden B. Dow Home and Studio