Spend some time with Rob Bowman and you’ll end up sketching a new idea or talking about “what’s possible”. It’s that same energy and enthusiasm that led Rob to start Charter in 1990 after graduating from college with a passion for design and an interest in building a business from the ground up.
Soon afterwards, Rob realized that while designing great places included creating homes with a strong sense of style, it also required that Charter become an industry expert in how to design and develop land in a way that creates timeless value and ages well.
Rob's commitment to creating great neighborhood’s drives him and the company forward. He is also committed to serving the people in the community in which Charter does business better, through his significant involvement in leadership positions and financial support of a number of organizations.
In Rob's Own Words:
Where do you find inspiration?
In the value of a well-crafted neighborhood. With the change in the demographics of the communities we work in and the real estate market in flux, where people choose to live is more dependent on what we here at Charter think about and include within a neighborhood, how people connect through our neighborhood design, and what opportunities our neighborhoods provide for living better as a result.
What was Charter's biggest success in the last 12 months?
One of the most enjoyable and rewarding projects we’ve undertaken is undergoing the thinking behind, and construction of, our first TerraPark in Walden. A friend shared a book with me titled The Last Child in the Woods, by Richard Louv, and it made me think about how we could encourage kids to spend more time outdoors and give kids an alternative to the choices they have with their time. I remember growing up playing with my friends in this open field behind all of our homes using our imagination and tiring ourselves out in a safe place. That is the kind of experience we are working to create with our Terrapark idea. I can’t wait to build others as we develop new neighborhoods.
What’s your favorite color?
Prussian Blue. Before copy machines and computer aided drawings, construction drawings were hand drawn on linen or paper and then copies were printed by a process that created “blue prints”, which had white lines on Prussian Blue paper. That’s why Charter’s color is blue, as a reminder of our building heritage, although our blue is more navy than Prussian.
What is one thing you’ve learned in your career?
I have learned that our business provides a great opportunity to be creative, and has as much art in it as it does other business disciplines. It’s what keeps me excited about the future of what we are doing.
Why do you like all white architecture?
I just think there is something elegant about a home with white siding or stone or brick painted white with white trim and shutters. That home surrounded by the bright green of spring, or in front of a backdrop of fall color, or under a blanket of new fallen snow lets simple architecture speak for itself.
What is your favorite thing about building homes?
The understanding that the places we create and the homes we build stir people’s memories, and that they bring out a special nostalgia people value. I love that our homes provide the backdrop for people to make new memories. I guess it’s about connecting with what people value about homes in the deepest sense - that their homes hold and create memories.
What is the first thing you see when you look at a home?
Proportion. Done well, it creates interest and makes architecture just feel right. Done poorly, it creates tension and makes a home feel disposable.
What’s one thing you like to do when you’re not working.
Actually, I really enjoy playing in the dirt. I try to find a bulldozer that I can borrow for a few hours and push some earth around.
What’s your favorite place in Lancaster?
Central Market downtown. I love the place, and the friendly people and great fresh food make it even better.