Theodore Seymour Hall (1880-1963) was born in Honolulu, Hawaii to William Wisner Hall and
Elizabeth Archer Van Cleve Hall. He attended Berkeley High School, in Berkeley, California,
and Harvard University. In 1909, he married Ruth Houghton, and they had two children:
Houghton Seymour Hall (born 1910) and Winslow William Hall (born 1912). Hall worked in
various managerial positions, and in 1920 was manager of the Standard Chemical Company in
Alameda, and lived in Oakland, California. In 1925, Hall had settled in New York, working in
industrial banking. He and Ruth divorced in 1929, and the same year, Hall married Edna Kofal
Davison; they lived in Long Island while Hall worked as a bond salesman and sales executive.
By 1938, the 58-year-old Hall was again divorced and living on Bunker Hill in Los Angeles,
as a roomer at the Sherwood Apartments on South Grand Avenue. He took up photography and was
befriended and mentored by Irving Haines, a local commercial photographer, and Haines' wife,
Martha. Hall joined outings of Haines Camera Club, which met downtown on Olive Street. In
1952, Hall was living in the Cumberland Hotel on South Olive Street (Bunker Hill), which he
later vacated because the building was scheduled to be torn down. In 1960 he was living at
the Engstrum Apartments on West Fifth Street. Hall died in 1963, in Los Angeles, at age
83.The Bunker Hill neighborhood of Los Angeles was an enclave of wealthy residents and grand
mansions at the turn of the century. By the 1920s to 1940s, it had transformed into a
mixed-use urban residential area with a more transient population, and went into decline.
The Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles proposed the Bunker Hill Urban
Renewal Project, which was officially adopted by the Los Angeles City Council in 1959. The
CRA acquired Bunker Hill properties, relocated residents and businesses, and began
demolishing buildings and clearing land, changing the landscape dramatically.
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