Lydia Patterson was a 1930 graduate of the Columbia University's School of Architecture. Patterson came to New York from Tbilisi, Georgia in 1923. After graduating from Columbia, Patterson married William Sargeant. The couple eventually moved to California and later divorced.
From the mid to late 1930s, Patterson was employed by Ed Musson-Sharpe in San Francisco where she primarily worked on residences in and around San Francisco. During WWII, Patterson worked on shipbuilding at Joslyn & Ryan, Naval Architects. After the war, by now a single mother, Patterson worked for Bolton White, and later, in 1950, for Ward and Bolles, both in San Francisco. In the early 1950s, she moved with her two daughters to Carmel, California and worked for prominent area architects like C.J. Ryland and Frank Wynkoop. Projects she worked on at this time include plans of fairground buildings for Ryland and an addition to a school in Pacific Grove for Wynkoop. Patterson moved back to New York for one year during the mid-1950s to work on a project for Skidmore Owings and Merrill. Patterson returned to California at the close of the SOM project and began employment as a draftswoman and designer at Continental Service Company in San Francisco. She remained with CSC designing banks until her retirement in the 1970s. Alongside her work with various California architectural firms, Patterson also worked independently designing homes for local clients.
Patterson died in 2002 at the age of 100.