Wiliam Augustus Bates was born in Jackson, Michigan
in 1853, the son of a merchant. He studied architecture as an apprentice in the firm of Herter Brothers from 1872 until
1881, during which time he worked as an assistant in designing the interior of the William H. Vanderbilt houses on Fifth Avenue.
By 1883, Bates had gone into practice on his own, with an office listed at 149 Broadway where he remained until at least 1891. Bates
is regarded as the genius behind the aesthetic approach and designs for homes in the "Lawrence Park" development
by William van Duzer Lawrence, that is now part of the Village of Bronxville. Here he designed: the Home of Francis L. Wurzburg, 15 Northern Avenue (1908) (House & Garden, November,
1912); on Prescott Avenue, nos. 16-18, 29, 34, 35, 39, 43; on Park Avenue nos. 4, 7, 16, 20, 24 and 28; on Valley
Road, nos. 7, 29, 33, 35, 39; 6 & 12 Sunset Avenue; 55 Tanglewylde; 5 & 6 Paradise, 6 Chestnut,
William Bates was also prolific
in the work he designed for Tuxedo Park, New York, including residences for George W. Griswold (American Architect & Building
News, July 8, 1899), Charles H. Coster (American Architect and Building News, June 17, 1899), William R. Garrison (1896), Mrs. Alex T. Van Nest, Mr. Casimir De Rham and Herbert C. Pell (American Architect and Building
News, June 3, 1899).
Among his other significant commissions were:
- City Residence at 45 W. 35th Street, New York, NY (American Architect
& Building News, May 15, 1880)
& Country Club, Ridgefield, CT (American Architect & Building News, January 4, 1896)
- Ridgefield Inn, Ridgefield, CT (American Architect & Building News, July 4, 1891)
- William Sturgis House, Cheyene, Wyoming (American Architect & Building News, February 7, 1885)
- Residence of William S. Hawk, Canton, Ohio (Building -- An Architectural Weekly, March 31, 1888)
- House near Quogue, Long Island, NY (American Architect &
Building News, December 11, 1886);
- "Edgecliff," home
of Mr. & Mrs. Samuel M. Downs, Mt. Desert Island, Maine (1885–1887).