John Harleston Parker

Personal Data

John Harleston Parker was born in November 27, 1872,  in Boston, the son of Harleston Parker and his wife, Adeline Ellen Reynolds (daughter of Edward Reynolds).

He married on September 12, 1904 (Union Church, Nahant, by Bishop William Lawrence) to Edith Value Stackpole (b. 8Feb1880 in MA), daughter of Henry Stackpole and his wife, Bessie Baily Value.

John Harleston Parker died on May 5, 1930, at his home at 173 Commonwealth in Boston.


J. Harleston Parker graduated from Harvard in 1893 and studied architecture at MIT.  After apprenticing in the offices of Winslow and Wetherell, in 1896 he travelled to Italy and then studied (in 1899) at the Ecole des Beaux Arts.  In 1900 he joined with Douglas H. Thomas, Jr., of Baltimore to form the firm of Parker and Thomas, with offices in Boston and Baltimore.  In 1907, the firm was joined by Arthur Wallace Rice (previously a partner in Peters and Rice) and it became Parker, Thomas, and Rice.  Thomas died in 1915 and Parker died in 1930. The firm remained Parker, Thomas, and Rice until Rice’s retirement in the mid-1930s.

Parker, Thomas, and Rice designed a number of public, commercial, and residential buildings.  Their Boston work included the R. H. Stearns Building (1908); the Harvard Club (1912) at 374 Commonwealth; the John Hancock building (1922) on the block located bounded by Clarendon, Stuart, Berkeley, and St. James Streets (the eastern half of which was replaced in 1947 by a larger structure designed by Cram and Ferguson); the Chamber of Commerce Building (1923) at  Federal, Franklin and Congress Streets; and the 24-story Art Deco-style United Shoe Machinery Building (1929) at 138-164 Federal Street.

Their work in Baltimore included the campus plan and Academic Building for Johns Hopkins University; the Hotel Belvedere; the Baltimore & Ohio office building; the Maryland Casualty Company; the Savings Bank of Baltimore; the Metropolitan Savings Bank; and the offices of the German Lloyd Steamship line.

In 1922, Harley Parker donated funds to the City of Boston for the establishment of the Harleston Parker Gold Medal (named in honor of his father), to be presented  “from time to time” to the architect or architectural firm who, in the opinion of the Boston Society of Architects, had designed “the most beautiful piece of architecture” in the city.

Back Bay Work

1907 13 Commonwealth [Parker, Thomas, and Rice]
1912 8 Gloucester [Parker, Thomas, and Rice]
1912 374 Commonwealth [Parker, Thomas, and Rice]
1913 148 Beacon [Parker, Thomas, and Rice]
1915 285 Clarendon (201 Beacon) (Remodeling) [Parker, Thomas, and Rice]
1917 173 Commonwealth (Remodeling) [Parker, Thomas, and Rice]
1920 242 Beacon (Remodeling) [Parker, Thomas, and Rice]
1923 301 Berkeley [Parker, Thomas, and Rice]
1923 313 Commonwealth (Remodeling) [Parker, Thomas, and Rice]
1928 169 Commonwealth (Remodeling) [Parker, Thomas, and Rice]