As individuals we attach value to places through our memories. Those memories and their associated values guide feelings about what places are worth saving. The buildings and landscapes we save over time embody our collective memory, connecting us to the past and defining our unique heritage. And while decisions about what to save may vary from community to community, the importance of heritage and the significance of memory are universal.
Justin Gunther is professor of historic preservation at the Savannah College of Art and Design, where he focuses on community-based redevelopment, preservation of the recent past, and the innovative management and adaptation of cultural heritage resources. Prior to teaching, Justin was curator at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater and restoration manager at George Washington’s Mount Vernon. He currently serves as vice-chair of the Savannah Historic District Board of Review, board member of the Friends of Owens-Thomas House, and member of Historic Savannah Foundation’s Education Committee.
This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at