The New York City townhouse where the late Chinese architect I.M. Pei (died in May at the age of 102), and his late wife, Eileen, resided is now on sale for $8 million. Pei, who is famous for landmarks like The Louvre Pyramid and the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, acquired this four-story property more than 45 years ago from Franklin D. Roosevelt’s cousin, Laura “Polly” Delano for just $215,000.
At the time, their son Li Chung Pei told the Wall Street Journal that the home was “in a run-down condition. It was dark and dirty and sort of crumbling.” The elder Pei saw the potential in the townhouse and went to work modifying the insides and renovating it to his taste.
Located at 11 Sutton Place, Pei added a striking spiral staircase that connected all four floors, with a geometric oblong skylight perched at the very top as well as glass walls with views of the private park and the East River. The townhouse includes four bedrooms, three full bathrooms, four working fireplaces, a library, a formal dining space with a private garden, and much more.
The home is entered through a grand marble foyer, and a formal dining room on the first floor opens out to the backyard, where there is both a private garden and one shared with neighbors.
The home is outfitted with several custom amenities, including a temperature-controlled basement wine cellar that can hold up to 1,000 bottles (Pei built the basement, and the architect was known to enjoy a glass of French Bordeaux from time to time) and an elevator. Pei lived modestly, but filled their home with art, including works by Willem de Kooning and Franz Kline, as well as sculptures by Jean Dubuffet.
Although Pei passed away in May at the age of 102, his work will remain relevant for years to come. Pei’s one-of-a-kind structures can be seen around the world, from the Museum of Islamic Art in Qatar to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. His mastery of architecture and understanding of how culture, history, and art inform design are worthy of respect.
Thank You, I.M.Pei