Throughout the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, membership in fraternal societies such as the Masons was standard for almost any professional male. Not only was membership in such societies associated with moral and philanthropic ideals, but it was also a means for making political and economic connections—and in Greene’s case, for procuring major architectural commissions.
Greene’s Masonic friends and associates included business partner James P. Hubbell and Dallas businessmen George B. Dealey and Samuel P. Cochran. Greene served as Master of Tannehill Lodge #52 in Dallas in 1910, and five years later, following in the footsteps of Dealey and Cochran, was awarded the rank of 33rd-Degree Inspector General Honorary of the Scottish Rite. Such status was reserved for men who had made an outstanding contribution to this exclusive order of Masons.
Greene designed Scottish Rite Cathedrals in Dallas (1907-13), El Paso (1921), San Antonio (1924, with Ralph Cameron) and Joplin, Missouri (c. 1915), as well as Masonic Temples in Amarillo, Dallas and Oak Cliff. Other Masonic commissions included the Hella Temple Children’s Hospital in Dallas (1923), the Junior and Senior Girls’ Dormitories for the Masonic Widows and Orphans Home in Fort Worth (1922-24) and the Karem Temple Shrine in Waco (1928).
In 1920, Cochran, in his role as president of the Scottish Rite Educational Association, awarded Greene the commission for the Scottish Rite Dormitory for Girls in Austin. Two years later, the Board of Regents of the University of Texas, with Cochran as its chairman, conferred upon Greene a ten-year contract to succeed Cass Gilbert as university architect for the campus.