‘This Is Part of Our Obligation’: Much-Needed Ceiling Replacement Underway at the Glass House

For years, even during Philip Johnson’s life, the southwest corner of the plaster ceiling inside the Glass House has been sagging. It’s been getting progressively worse in recent years—to the point where three of the doors into the iconic structure (there’s one on each face of the house) could not be opened. About three years ago, those in charge of the National Trust for Historic Preservation site oversaw a temporary stabilization in the troubled corner, working with Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Evergreene Architectural Arts. “It sagged about three inches in that corner,” Brendan Tobin, senior buildings & grounds manager at The Glass House said Tuesday afternoon, standing near Johnson’s building on the Ponus Ridge site. “They stabilized it by putting some lag bolts and washers in place so it would not further sag, and they gave us basically three proposals to restore or preserve the ceiling.”

Glass House officials reviewed those proposals (more on them below) and settled on one so that work could start days after the 2017 season ended on Nov.

‘We Need To Be Doing Better’: New Director Eyes Fundraising, Capital Needs at The Glass House

For all six years that Greg Sages has worked at this National Trust for Historic Preservation site on Ponus Ridge, the Brick House, a building that complements the campus’s most famous structure, the Glass House—designed at the same time and finished a few months earlier, in 1949—has been closed to the public, its collection in storage. The roof of the Brick House is not intact, there’s water coming in underground and above-grade, and an in-floor radiant heat system must be jack-hammered out with its interior slab and replaced—an approximately $2 million project that Sages said he would like very much to tackle “next” (that is, after the ongoing Sculpture Gallery restoration is finished). “It [The Brick House] needs restoration, and we haven’t identified the funding for that,” Sages, a Stamford native and 1972 Rippowam High School graduate who resides in Greenwich, said on a recent afternoon from this sprawling, sloping 49-acre campus. “It is all a matter of coming up with the funding to undertake this. At the National Trust, we have something called the ‘Critical Priority List.’ What needs to be done on each of the [14] structures here.

Did You Hear … ?

Police have told an out-of-town man to keep his 5-year-old female golden-doodle out of the dog park at Waveny until he gets the animal spayed. The dog (her name is Amber) is in heat and on a recent weekday evening her owner upset other Spencer’s Run users when he got angry about male dogs in the park trying to mount her. We’re hearing that the man grabbed the male dogs and yanked them off of his fetching female, as though it was their fault. Officials say that if the out-of-towner returns with the dog un-spayed, he’ll be ticketed and his PIN number to enter Spencer’s Run revoked. ***

Though the property owner at the Bank of America building on Elm Street could not be reached for comment after town officials blasted the condition of the planters out front, he appears to have taken at least one major step toward addressing the problem. Within days of a meeting of the Plan of Conservation & Development Implementation Committee that saw some members refer to the area as a “non-garden,” a crew appeared in the morning to install new flowers, topsoil, gravel and plants there.