Edward Hagaman Hall

Dr. Edward Hagaman Hall was born on November 3, 1858, in Auburn, New York. His father, Benjamin Franklin Hall, was the mayor of Auburn. Edward Hall attended Auburn Academic High School, and graduated with honors in 1877. Immediately following graduation, he began work as the editor of the Norwich Morning Bulletin. He then went on to work for several other publications including: Waterbury Daily Republican, New England Correspondent of the New York Tribune, Republic Press (New York City), The Spirit of Seventy-Six, and Commerce and Labor.

In 1900, Hall took a respite from his career in journalism in order to devote time to his independent research and writing. One of his most notable works was a published study on the voyages of Henry Hudson, and the design of his ship, the Half Moon. In 1908, Hall was awarded an honorary degree from New York University and an LL.D. degree from Hobart College.

In 1902, Hall was hired as the full-time executive secretary of the Association for the Protection of the Adirondacks.

His efforts in preservation can be attributed in large part to the City Beautiful movement in the early 1900s. Along with Albert S. Bard, Hall was pivotal in the nascent efforts to pass legislation monitoring the aesthetic fabric in New York City. Of prime importance was the regulation of billboard advertisements on Fifth Avenue.

He is most noted for being the paid executive secretary for the American Scenic and Historic Preservation Society. The Billboard Committee hired him to help write the “Report of The Mayor’s Billboard Advertising Commission of the City of New York.”

He was also involved with the New York City Art Commission, however, he resigned from his post in 1929 due to ill health. He passed away on May 4, 1936.