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Frederick Rowntree was born in Scarborough in 1860, the son of John Rowntree, a Quaker grocer and draper, and his wife Ann Webster. He was second cousin to Benjamin Seebohm Rowntree of York.
Educated at Bootham School in York, between 1876 and 1880 he was articled with architect C. A. Bury of Scarborough. In 1890 he moved to Glasgow where he formed a partnership with Malcolm Stark. In 1912 he took his two sons, Colin and Douglas, into partnership, creating the firm Fred Rowntree & Sons.
His architectural projects in Yorkshire include The Homestead, York, the Arts and Crafts style house built for Benjamin Seebohm Rowntree and his wife in 1904, as well as the central offices of the Rowntree's Cocoa Works, Yearsley Swimming Baths, and extensions to The Mount and Bootham Schools. His firm also designed West China University at Chengtu, Szechuan.
Fred Rowntree died on 7 January 1927.
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Dictionary of Scottish Architects, 'Fred Rowntree' (http://www.scottisharchitects.org.uk/architect_full.php?id=200959)
The Rowntree Society, 'Fred Rowntree (1860-1927), (http://www.rowntreesociety.org.uk/fred-rowntree-1860-1927)