Born in Quincy, Massachusetts, Pattee enrolled at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1912, graduating in 1916 with a degree in architecture. Upon graduation, she taught and served as assistant principal at the Lowthorpe School of Landscape Architecture in Groton, Massachusetts. In addition to teaching architecture courses there, Pattee also studied landscape architecture at Lowthorpe, graduating in 1918. During her time there, she worked with various design offices in the Boston area, including Stone & Webster, Harold Hill Blossom, and Howe and Manning. In 1922 Pattee established her own architecture and landscape architecture practice in Boston with Constance Peters, who graduated from Lowthorpe in 1920. In 1929 they produced a landscape master plan for Dr. and Mrs. George Kimball’s residence, now known as the Kimball-Jenkins Estate, in Concord, New Hampshire. When Lowthorpe merged with the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in Providence in 1945, four Lowthorpe faculty members, including Pattee, transferred to the new RISD program. She remained on the faculty there from 1945 until her retirement in 1963. Pattee served as department head from 1946 to 1952 and from 1955 to 1959. While working there she continued to design residential properties throughout New England, which made up the majority of her work, often employing plant materials to integrate architecture with its landscape setting. She retired from professional practice in 1965.
Pattee published such articles as “Planting the Herbaceous Border” in House Beautiful (1919), and “Little Lessons in Landscape Design (No. 1)” in Horticulture (1939). She was actively involved with the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) and the International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA), and was elected an ASLA Fellow in 1961. Pattee died at the age of 98 in Hightstown, New Jersey.