John Cameron Greenleaf

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John Cameron Greenleaf
Born 1878[1]
Lenox, Massachusetts[1]
Alma mater Westminster School, Yale University Sheffield Scientific School (1899), Columbia University Department of Architecture (1899-1901), Ecole des Beaux Arts (1903-1905)[1]
Practice Principal in John C. Greenleaf , Partner in Mills & Greenlead

John Cameron Greenleaf, AIA, (born 1878), was an American architect based in New York City who practiced in early twentieth century under his own name and as partner in the firm of Mills & Greenleaf.

Early life and education[edit]

Born June 2, 1878 in Lenox, Massachusetts, to Dr. Richard C. Greenleaf (b. 1845, Boston, BA, Harvard (1866), MD, Harvard (1870)), physician, and Adalein E. Stone (b. 1849, New Jersey).[1] He went to Westminster School, took a select course at Yale University Sheffield Scientific School, “where he was a member of Delta Psi, the University Crew, the University Banjo Club, the Governing Board of the University Club, the Renaissance Club, and was chairman of the Triennial Committee, and was a Cup Man.” [1] Thereafter, he attended Columbia University, Department of Architecture from 1899 to 1901, moved to Paris during the summer of 1901, attended the Ecole des Beaux Arts, Department of Architecture from 1903 to 1905.[1]


Greenleaf returned to New York in August 1905, worked in New York firm before establishing the architecture firm of Mills & Greenleaf at 345 Fifth Avenue, New York City, with J. Laying Mills, who graduated from Yale in 1901.[1] He was recorded to be a member of the following clubs: University, Yale, St. Anthony, and Architects; the Society of Beaux Arts, the Graduates Club of New Haven, and the Pelham Country Club.[1]

As Mills & Greenleaf, the firm was many times awarded. In 1908, by the Board of Awards, in Albany, New York, and judged to be among the most meritorious designs for a competition entered for a state prison.[2] They were referenced as among the associate architects attached to the new state prison erected in Peekskill, New York, located on an unusually high plateau overlooking the Hudson River.[3]

Mills & Greenleaf were selected “from the sixty-two designs submitted by the leading architects of the country for the great water gate and Fulton memorial which is to be erected in Riverside Drive between 114th and 116th Streets at an approximate cost of $2,500,000. The just of award of the Robert Fulton Monument Association announced yesterday at the Engineers’ Club the names of the ten successful competitors in the preliminary competition. The jury of award consisted of two architects, Thomas Hastings and George B. Post; two laymen, Robert Fulton Cutting and Isaac Guggenheim, and Lansing C. Holden as advisory architects. Each of these ten competitors received a prize of $500. The successful contestants are Charles P. Huntington, Mills & Greenleaf. Lawrence F. Peck, J.H. Freedlander, Bosworth & Holden, and Harold Van Buren Magonigle of New York City….”[4][5][6]

He was very likely related to architect Lewis Greenleaf Adams, as that architect founded his first practice (Adams & Prentice) at offices in 15 West 38th Street, Manhattan, in 1929, which had been the premises of Greenleaf himself from as early as 1919 to as late as 1924[7]


  • 1907: 171 Second Street, a six-storey brick-and-stone tenement for Margaret W Folsom of Waverly, Massachusetts (as Mills & Greenleaf of 345 5th Avenue) for the expected cost of $31,000.[7][8]
  • 1908: Associate architects attached to the new Sing Sing Prison Competition (Peekskill, New York) [7]
  • 1916: 15 East 64th Street, a five-storey fireproof residence Helen C. Thorpe of 6 East 69th Street for the expected cost of $$100,000.[7]
  • 1919: 118 West 13th Street, a two-storey brick laundry and infirmary for the Ladies’ Christian Union of New York City with Mrs. Louis H. Burr, President, Englewood, New Jersey for the expected cost of $31,000.[7]
  • 1923: 8-10 West 37th Street, a ten-storey brick store and loft building a speculative development corporation for the expected cost of $$300,000.[7]
  • 1927: Addition to Austin Cheney Residence, Manchester, CT[9]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Osborne A. Day, ed., Decenial Record: Yale University Sheffield Scientific School, Class of 1899 (New Haven, Connecticut: The Tuttle, Morehouse & Taylor Company, 1910), p.45-46
  2. ^ "Building News: New York" The American Architect and Building News’’, July 29, 1908, p.17, Contained in The American Architect and Building News, Vol. XCIV: July to December 1908 (New York)
  3. ^ Communication: By Mr. Franklin B. Ware, New York State Architect, Addressed to the Board of Awards, New Sing Sing Prison Competition: IllustrationsThe American Architect and Building News, July 15, 1908, p.23, Contained in The American Architect and Building News, Vol. XCIV: July to December 1908 (New York)
  4. ^ "Fulton Monument Awards, Prized Given to Architects Winning Preliminary Contest." New York Times 2 July 7, 1910 (Retrieved 25 April 2011) Filed in “PLAN TO CALL OUT 3,000 MORE STRIKERS; Union Ready to Punish Manu- facturers Who Have Been Do- ing Non-Union Work Secretly”, Excerpted: “….The successful contestants are Charles P. Huntingtoh, Mills & Greenleaf. Lawrence F. Feck, j J-I. Freedlander, Bosworth & Holden, and Harold Van Buren....”
  5. ^ See also ”Vitrified Clay Curbing Selected for Streets and Roads – Fulton Memorial, Water Gate”, ‘’Engineering News’’, Vol. 63: No. 2, p.44 (January 13, 1910)
  6. ^ See also Fourteenth Annual Report of the New York State Commission of Prisons for the Year of 1908: Transmitted to the Legislature February 23, 1909 p.42.
  7. ^ a b c d e f Office for Metropolitan History, "Manhattan NB Database 1900-1986," (Accessed 15 Apr 2011).
  8. ^ Real Estate Record and Builders' Guide v.80no.2051(July 6, 1907)-no.2076 (Dec. 28, 1907) (New York, F. W. Dodge Corp.), ”Projected Buildings: Borough of Manhattan: South of 14th Street,” Vol. 80, No. 2066: Page 614
  9. ^ Original plans in possession of current owner