He received an academic education at Harvard, graduating m 1893. After beginning architectural study at “Boston Tech," the young man went to Paris, and in 1900 having completed four years of advanced training at the Ecole des Beaux Arts, received his diploma.
For many years the partners (J. Harleston Parker, Douglas H. Thomas, and Arthur W. Rice.) enjoyed a large and successful practice, engaged in the planning and execution of many large building projects in Boston and other New England cities. Among their major works in Boston should be cited the Commonwealth Trust Building ; R. H. Sterns Building Boston he launched his professional career in partnership with Douglas H. Thomas, and in 1907 Arthur W. Rice became a third member of tile firm of Parker, Thomas & Rice, original building for the Columbian Rational Life Insurance Company, Franklin and Arch Streets; the new John Hancock Building, c.1921;
Harvard Club on Commonwealth Ave., and finally the new Office Building at No. 140 Federal Street, a large and modern structure on which Henry B. Alden was Associate Architect.
Parker & Thomas designed several notable buildings in Baltimore (former home of Mr. Thomas), such as the Maryland Casualty Company office; Hotel Belevidere, designed in the French Renaissance Railroad Terminal3 3t of the S Hopkins University. and the Baltimore & Ohio
Other works with which Mr. Parker was identified include the Post Office Building at Marblehead, Mass. State Mutual Life Insurance Building.
Recognized in the profession as an architect of great artistic and creative skill, Mr. Parker had been a member of the Boston Society of Architects more than thirty years and in 1908 was elected to Institute Fellowship.