Greg Sages, Longtime Executive Director of The Glass House, To Step Down

Greg Sages, with characteristic modesty, views the eight years that he’s led The Glass House as executive director in terms of the organization’s larger goals and history. 

When the historic Glass House building and campus on Ponus Ridge opened to the public in 2007 following the deaths of Philip Johnson and David Whitney, the then-director’s priority was “getting the place open,” Sage said. The second director was from the art community and had strong ties to Manhattan galleries and architects, and focused on those connections in raising the visibility of The Glass House. 

For Sage, “the most important thing was integrating the site into the fabric of New Canaan,” he said. “My predecessors had not focused on that effort,” Sage said. He added that he and Christa Carr, The Glass House’s director of communications, “have been pretty active in local organizations and also we set out to do a number of partnerships with other not-for-profits in town including the library, the New Canaan Museum & Historical Society, Grace Farms, S.T.A.R in this past year, and others.”

“And I think we have maintained a very positive reputation in the museum community with visitors coming from around the country and from around the world,” he said. Sage recently notified his employers at the National Trust for Historic Preservation that he’s stepping down as director.

‘I Am Optimistic’: Glass House To Reopen April 16

While they must continue to operate under public health-related restrictions that have impacted revenue, officials with an internationally renowned National Trust for Historic Preservation site on Ponus Ridge say they’re looking forward to reopening for the season next month. The Glass House in a normal season draws about 15,000 visitors, according to Executive Director Greg Sages. The figure declined to 5,500 visitors in 2020, and at a reduced per-person revenue, he said. “People were not coming to the Visitors Center in the numbers they had previously, so the Design Store was impacted, too,” Sages said. “It’s doing well but it has been impacted by access to throughput.”

Now, following a unanimous vote by the Planning & Zoning Commission at its Feb.

‘The Glass House’ Seeks Permission To Reopen with Limited On-Site Parking

A National Trust for Historic Preservation site on Ponus Ridge that draws architecture enthusiasts and other visitors from around the world is seeking permission from the Planning & Zoning Commission to reopen in a limited way, as per COVID-19 pandemic-related restrictions. 

The Glass House in May won P&Z approval to open under similar conditions for a limited period of time, has applied to the Commission for permission to have up to 16 visitors’ cars park at the 49-acre site itself, since the nonprofit organization’s small tour buses wouldn’t allow or social distancing, according to its executive director. “[T]he Glass House proposes that, for a finite period of time, visitors be allowed to drive to the site,” Greg Sages wrote in a Jan. 27 cover letter to P&Z. “On-site parking would be limited to 16 cars. Parking at West School is not available this year as in-school learning is in effect.

Divided P&Z Approves October Wedding at The Glass House

Despite concerns voiced by a Planning & Zoning Commission member who lives near The Glass House, the appointed body last week voted 4-2 to allow the organization to host a wedding this fall on its Ponus Ridge campus. Dick Ward, a P&Z commissioner who lives on Winfield Lane, .3 miles from the National Trust for Historic Preservation site, said approval of the Oct. 4 wedding “would, in my opinion, create perhaps an unnecessary and perhaps dangerous precedent, on two levels.”

“One is it’s been our longtime practice that financial considerations are not a criteria to support a Special Permit or an amendment to a Special Permit,” Ward said during P&Z’s regular meeting, held Aug. 25 via videoconference. “And it’s pretty clear that the request is based on a financial concern and I don’t think we want to open that door.