Mr. Reid was educated at McGill University in Montreal. His architectural training was acquired at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and in Paris at the Ecole des Beaux Arts.
Mr. Reid first worked at Evansville, Ind., employed as draftsman with the Evansville & Terre Haute Railroad, but left within a year when in 1888 he was called to San Diego, Calif., to design a new resort hotel at Coronado. During the following year he moved to San Francisco to join his brother Merritt who had already established an office in the city, and for nearly half a century the Reid Brothers maintained one of the leading architectural offices in the city, active in the planning and execution of many important commissions.
Among the firm's most important works should be cited the original Fairmont Hotel: the Call Office Building, a "pre-fire" structure built originally for the late Claus Spreckles, re-named the Central Tower in more recent years; the Fitzhugh Building in Union Square; Hale Brothers Department Store, the new Cliff House, built in 1908; Matson Building on Market Street on the corner of Main; Building for the San Francisco Land Company; Western States Insurance Company Building; W. & J. Sloan’s new Store; the First Congregational Church, and the Music Pavilion in Golden Gate Park, also a number of large and costly homes in the city and Bay area.
Outside of San Francisco Reid Brothers designed the Fitzhugh Building and the Merritt Office Building in Los Angeles (the latter erected at the corner of Eighth and Broadway); Carnegie Library in San Rafael and the Byron Springs Resort Hotel in Contra Costa County.
Mr. Reid who first became a member of the American Institute of Architects in 1879, was a co-founder of the old California Chapter, A. I. A. in 1881, and continued a member of the Northern California Chapter which succeeded it until his death. He had been a Fellow of the Institute since 1881.