Female, US, born 1905-05-11, died 1964-11-22

Associated with the firm network

Wurster, Bernardi and Emmons (WBE), Architects

Professional History

Bauer was appointed Rosenberg Lecturer in Public Social Services, University of California, Berkeley (UCB), Berkeley, CA, 1940; Lecturer, Harvard University, Department of City and Regional Planning, Cambridge, MA, 1944-1950; Lecturer/Professor, University of California, Berkeley, (UCB), Department of City and Regional Planning, Berkeley, CA, 1950-1959; Professor of City Planning/Associate Dean, College of Environmental Design, University of California, Berkeley, 1959-1964.


Bauer matriculated at Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY, but transferred to Cornell University, for a time; she returned to graduate from Vassar in 1926.


Born in Elizabeth, NJ, Bauer attended college in Poughkeepsie, NY. Following graduation, she embarked with a friend and her family on an influential tour of Europe, where she became familiar with radical housing developments in France and Germany. On her return, she settled in New York, NY, where she gradually became enmeshed in its various intellectual networks. For most of the period 1927-1940, she resided on the East Coast, in Washington, DC or New York City. While in New York, Bauer became professionally and personally connected with the influential architectural/urban design critic, Lewis Mumford (1895-1990), who, wrote extensively on mechanization's effects on art and culture. She began a long-term affair with Mumford beginning in the Fall of 1929 that lasted well into the 1930s. Bauer also traveled a great deal in Europe during the 1930s; she returned to New York from Goteborg, Sweden, aboard the S.S. M.S. Kungsholm between 10/05/1939-10/14/1939. She accepted a teaching position at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1940, where she met her future husband. She again resided in Boston between 1944-1950, when she and Wurster decided to return to Berkeley. She died in a fall (possibly self-inflicted) while hiking on Mount Tamalpais, CA.

Catherine Krause Bauer was married to William W. Wurster (1895-1973), from 1940-1964. Bauer and Wurster were wed on 08/13/1940 in Seattle, WA. She maintained her maiden name professionally. The Berkeley architect Vernon De Mars (1908-2005) and his wife, Betty Bates De Mars , served as witnesses. The De Mars also married in 1940.

Executive Secretary, Regional Planning Association of America, 1930s; Executive Secretary, Labor Housing Conference, 1930s; Executive Secretary, Housing Committee, American Federation of Labor (AF of L), 1930s; Bauer made a reputation as an expert on public housing with the publication of her acclaimed book, Modern Housing (Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1934). She was selected to serve on the Museum of Modern Art's Jury for the Industrial Design Competition for Home Furnishings in 12/1940, that also included Alfred H. Barr, Marcel Breuer (who took the place of Alvar Aalto) Edgar Kaufmann, Jr., and Edward Durrell Stone. (See "Forum of Events," Architectural Forum, 01/1941, vol. 74, no. 1, p. 48.) Vice President, National Housing Conference, 1940s; Member, National Committee on Housing, 1940s; Member, American Public Health Association, Committee on the Hygiene of Housing, 1940s; Member, Boston Housing Association, 1940s; Member, Massachusetts Housing Association, 1940s; Member, International Federation of Housing and Town Planning, 1940s; Chair, Joint Committee of the National Association of Housing Officials and the National Public Housing Conference, late 1940s; this group produced a report, “A Housing Program for Now and Later," which contributed to the passage of the landmark Housing Act of 1949. Authored, "The Dreary Deadlock of Public Housing," Architectural Forum, 05/1957, p. 140-42, 219-21. Her middle name "Krouse" was sometimes misspelled "Krause."

Associated Locations

  • Mount Tamalpais, CA (Architect's Death)
    Mount Tamalpais, CA

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  • Elizabeth, NJ (Architect's Birth)
    Elizabeth, NJ

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PCAD id: 420