Meet Kirsten Reoch, the New Executive Director of The Glass House

One of New Canaan’s best-known nonprofits has a new leader at the helm. 

The ownership organization of The Glass House property on Ponus Ridge (visitors center, store and offices on Elm Street), the National Trust for Historic Preservation, launched its nationwide search for a new executive director after Greg Sages announced in March that he was stepping down. This month, Kirsten Reoch started in the role. We met up with her at Le Pain Quotidien on Monday morning. Here’s a transcript of our interview. ***

New Canaanite: Kirsten, welcome and congratulations. When did you start at The Glass House and where are you coming from? 

Kirsten Reoch: I started Monday, September 11th, and I was coming from working at the Park Avenue Armory in New York City for 25 years, directing the renovation and restoration of that landmark building for arts-related uses. I worked with the board, and I worked with the production team, I worked with the architects and conservators, and I think that that experience is what made me a good fit here at The Glass House. 

Tell me more about that.

Who Knew: The Best ‘Open House’ of the Year

‘Who Knew?’ is sponsored by Walter Stewart’s Market. “Week-end crowds have been blocking traffic on Ponus Ridge in this conservative old community of early colonial homes, with hundreds of residents turning out in holiday mood to inspect Philip C. Johnson’s all-glass house. While workmen put the finishing touches on the ‘private’ residence and the adjoining guest house, startled, uninvited visitors tramp about to view the results with mingled expressions of awe, wonder and indignation. They agree that nothing like it ever was seen in these parts.”

— The New York Times, December 1948

The first time I can recall hearing the words “New Canaan” was in an undergraduate survey class of modern architecture, in a hot, sleepy room lit only by images of Philip Johnson’s startlingly simple, rectilinear Glass House on a slide projector. I’d never seen a house so effectively magnify what was beautiful around it.

Local Business Q&A: Design Store of The Glass House

In this installment of our Q&A series spotlighting local businesses, we hear from New Canaan’s Christa Carr of The Glass House, whose Design Store is open 24/7 online and in-person at 199 Elm St. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays Dec. 4, 11 and 18, as well as Dec. 20 to 23. 

Here’s our exchange. New Canaanite: Before we get to The Design Store itself and what you have to offer shoppers this holiday season, talk to us about how the 2021 season is going for The Glass House.

Breuer’s Bohemia

Join us for a free screening of Breuer’s Bohemia, preceded by a short conversation with director James Crump. “James Crump, the intrepid director, writer, and art historian, has done the impossible, crafting a smart, serious architecture documentary that isn’t hopelessly dry and boring. His latest film, Breuer’s Bohemia, takes an incisive look into the roiling cultural milieu in which Marcel Breuer crafted some of his most groundbreaking residential projects. It’s a tale of inspiration and decadence, rife with heavy drinking and free love, all set against a backdrop of leftist politics and social iconoclasm incubated in the seemingly staid suburban outposts of Connecticut and Massachusetts.” — Architectural Digest

Breuer’s Bohemia surveys a collection of private homes designed by iconic architect-designer Marcel Breuer for his most politically progressive clients between the 1950s and 1970s. More than clients, in fact, these patrons were friends with whom Breuer shared a close-knit and sometimes hedonistic community that included a Who’s Who of postwar-era artists, thinkers, and visionaries.

‘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.