By Mark Gerlach
Deirdre Glenn grew up in the Heights section of the City of Newburgh in the 1950s and ’60s. After working as an archeologist, living in Ireland and two unsuccessfully attempts at retirement, Glenn’s current mission is to navigate the city toward a blossoming renaissance.
Glenn, 71, works as the city’s director of planning and development. Her passion for helping Newburgh make smart development decisions is palpable, and visible in her eyes as she speaks. She has a deep-rooted relationship with the city, as well as durable admiration for its architecture, streets, history and people.
“Newburgh is very interesting, very diverse and has always been an urban center. We have to keep that quality about ourselves,” she said. “Not only do we have beautiful buildings and a beautiful landscape, but we have a very rich diversity in people.”
Glenn graduated Newburgh Free Academy, about 23rd in her class, and scored high on the Regents’ exams, she said. She was awarded a Regents’ scholarship, attended one year at Wells College in Aurora, N.Y. near the Finger Lakes and ended up at New York University, where she studied art history.
“I realized I wasn’t the country-schoolgirl type,” she said.
Glenn entered college thinking she’d be a social worker or lawyer. However, she was influenced by her godmother, who was involved in ballet, theater and worked as a librarian at the Museum of Modern Art. She spent “endless hours on weekends” at the theater and the museum, she said. “It never occurred to me that people majored in art history,” Glenn joked. As a liberal arts student she took an art history course, and then majored in the field.
To read the full article see the Friday, Dec. 2 editions of The Sentinel and Orange County Post.