Philip Johnson Glass House

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‘A Huge Amount of Interest’: Philip Johnson Glass House Sees Record-High Visits in September

Anchored by a popular, special installation, the Philip Johnson Glass House in September set a new high-water mark in visits for a single month since opening to the public in 2007. The National Trust for Historic Preservation site welcomed 2,595 visitors to its iconic 49-acre campus on Ponus Ridge last month (by way of shuttles from Elm Street), primarily through tours, according to the nonprofit organization. The figure marks a 111 percent year-over-year increase for visits in the month. (more…) Continue Reading →

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‘A Big Loss’: Town Planner Steve Kleppin To Leave New Canaan for Norwalk Job

Steve Kleppin recalled that when took the helm as town planner 11 years ago in New Canaan’s Land Use Department, after spending six months as assistant town planner, the agency’s perception in the community was poor. Some on staff at the time had faced criticism from the public and many relationships between the two had gone sour, he said. Yet “through the people that were here and the other people that came on board, we changed that, as a group,” Kleppin recalled Thursday, hours before the town announced that he had taken the role of town planner in neighboring Norwalk. “It’s a well-run area. Even though people might not always like the outcome or the decisions that are made, they’re treated appropriately, treated well and the decisions are thought-out.”

A steady, soft-spoken figure who is highly respected among colleagues, building professionals and property owners in New Canaan—often delivering unwanted news that touches on the largest single investment that residents will ever make—Kleppin will work his last day here on Oct. Continue Reading →

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Did You Hear … ?

New Canaan Police Department 22 Push-Up Challenge for Vets
Uploaded by Michael Dinan on 2016-09-07. New Canaan Police on Wednesday joined a global initiative designed to support veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces. Launched three years ago by Honor Courage Commitment Inc., the #22KILL effort is being recognized by NCPD with members opting in to do 22 pushups daily for 22 days. Based on the statistic that 22 U.S. veterans commit suicide each day on average due to PTSD, it’s a way to “show veterans that they are appreciated and not alone in their darkest hour,” said Police Chief Leon Krolikowski, himself a veteran. The public, veterans and emergency responders are invited to join the police at 2:45 p.m. on each of the next 21 remaining days for the initiative. Continue Reading →

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‘New Canaan Is Not a Number of Houses or Residents’: P&Z Agrees To Modify Operating Permit for Philip Johnson Glass House

After two public hearings that saw neighbors, including one member of the Planning & Zoning Commission, voice opposition to a proposal from the Philip Johnson Glass House to expand its operations, town officials on Tuesday night agreed to approve a slightly modified version of those plans. Designed to help the National Trust for Historic Preservation site fund the maintenance and restoration of its 49-acre Ponus Ridge campus and the 14 architecturally significant structures on it, the Glass House’s proposal—raising the baseline headcount allowed on the property and extending the hours during which people can visit—in January drew criticism from some neighbors concerned about noise and traffic. P&Z commissioner Dick Ward also voiced a familiar concern about the “creep” in scope that sometimes accompanies institutional uses in residential zones. Yet referring to the Glass House’s plans as “institutional creep” sets New Canaan off “in the wrong direction,” P&Z commissioner Laszlo Papp said at a special meeting of the group, held at Town Hall. “I would personally not call these entities ‘institutions.’ I would call them ‘public entities.’ Why? Continue Reading →

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P&Z Commissioner Defends Himself Against Perception of Bias in Glass House Application

A member of the Planning & Zoning Commission last week defended himself against the perception—already voiced at a public meeting—that he should recuse himself from a high-profile matter involving a National Trust For Historic Preservation site because it’s located just a few hundred yards from his house. Commissioner Dick Ward, of Winfield Lane, said that he has never spoken directly to those who oversee the Philip Johnson Glass House. “I have never discussed this matter with any of the neighbors or participated in any other neighbors’ meetings or discussions,” Ward said at P&Z’s April 26 meeting, held at Town Hall. “My house is three properties away from the Glass House, beyond the notification limit. And personally I have not been affected by the activities of the Glass House.”

Officials from the Glass House have said they’re seeking to expand their operations in order to meet the financial realities of managing the 49-acre Ponus Ridge campus and its 14 structures. Continue Reading →

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