Hungry for History? Savannah: An Ever Changing City

October 7, 2018

Many have asked for copies of the presentation I gave for the Congress of the New Urbanism conference in May of 2018. I finally had the opportunity to present the full presentation again and have it recorded on video in its entirety. 

 

About the presentation:

Savannah, like many cities, has some self-effacing jokes about itself. “How many Savannahians does it take to change a light bulb? Four. One to put in a new bulb, and three to form a committee for preserving and honoring the old bulb.” Savannah is full of contradictions, the biggest one possibly being that it is all about holding on to the past, yet it has been in a constant state of change since General Oglethorpe founded the colony in 1733. This presentation offers the unique perspective of a native son who started his professional life as a staff photographer on the Savannah daily newspapers, and now, retired after a 50+ year career, is serving as the City’s Second District Alderman. Growing up in Savannah, Bill Durrence’s family was part of the diaspora from urban to suburban living in the early 1950s and he watched the renaissance of Savannah’s downtown beginning in the late 1950s through to today’s high volume of development projects. Working from his personal archive of local images, he will present before and after photos showing how dramatically some things have changed, and also take a look at current and future development plans, many of which come with controversy because of competing visions of the City’s future.

 

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