John Rowse, 1943–2018

John Rowse, the founder of Boston Building Resources, died on March 29. He was 74.

1990 photo courtesy of the Boston Herald

1990 photo courtesy of the Boston Herald

A genuine visionary, John founded the Boston Building Materials Co-op in 1978 and co-founded the nonprofit Reuse Center in 1993. He went on to start a third organization, Community Boat Building, in the last decade of his life.

John was trained as an architect and had a passion for sharing his knowledge with other homeowners, especially those with fewer financial resources, so that they could take good care of their homes. In a 1990 Boston Herald article about the Co-op, he stated that “the ultimate goal is not profit, but helping people solve their housing problems.” John’s contributions to the organization were extensive, from designing the Co-op building to drawing the original “three houses” logo.

A celebration of John’s life will be held on Saturday, June 2, his 75th birthday. Further information will be posted as it becomes available.