Walter Danforth Bliss was born in 1872 in Nevada. His father had come west from Massachusetts during the Gold Rush.
Bliss was educated at the Masssachusetts Institute of Technology, where he met William Faville. They both worked at McKim, Mead and White at the end of the 1800s.
They went on to form a partnership in San Francisco, where they designed several prominent homes, the St. Francis Hotel on Union Square, and the Bank of California.
Bliss died in 1956 in Nevada.