By Ruth Doherty published
The exquisite home of celebrated architect I.M. Pei has gone on the market for $8 million. Situated above Manhattan’s East River, the historic townhouse is located in one of New York’s most prestigious addresses, Sutton Place.
The renowned architect and his wife Eileen bought the property more than 45 years ago, and transformed it into a home that boasts a sophisticated modernist aesthetic that Pei was famous for.
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His four-storey townhouse in Sutton Place has four to five bedrooms, three bathrooms, two powder rooms, and a basement, and all floors are serviced by a private elevator.
A grand marble foyer and spiral staircase sit at the heart of the home and travel through all of the floors, being capped by a large skylight enhanced with a geometric treatment reminiscent of the famed glass pyramid at the Louvre in Paris.
His daughter said: 'My father did not design private homes for clients, that was not really his field, so this is such an ultimate space because this is really the expression of my father's sense of what family is.'
Mr Pei, who passed away in 2019, was renowned for designing some of the world's most memorable landmarks, including the Louvre Pyramid in Paris, the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and the West Wing of the Museum in Boston, Bank of China Tower in Hong Kong, the Museum of Islamic Art in Qatar, and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio.
The living room, on the parlor floor, boasts 10-foot-tall ceilings, Tasmanian oak floors, and a working fireplace framed in elegant soapstone designed by Mr Pei. The parlor floor also leads to a magnificent library with towering built-in bookshelves and another fireplace of I.M. Pei's design
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The parlor floor was also where Mr Pei loved to entertain, hosting lively affairs with artists and global dignitaries.
The kitchen is located on the garden floor, and boasts a staff room with impressive space for a potential butler's pantry.
The marble-enhanced formal dining rooms is also located on this floor, and makes a perfect space for entertaining.
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The serene master bedroom offers views over the Queensboro Bridge and is a lovely contemplative space , while there's also a temperature-controlled wine cellar in the basement.
Tree-lined Sutton Place is one of New York's most exclusive and bucolic enclaves, and is comprised of 14 stately townhouses arranged in a U-shape surrounding a private park facing the East River with views of the Queensboro Bridge and Roosevelt Island. The neighborhood has been referred to as Little London because the pre-war townhouses are reminiscent of that capital's Belgravia neighborhood.
The area was pioneered in the early 1920s by socialite Anne Vanderbilt looking to find a place of quiet and peace but still blocks away from the vibrancy of Manhattan. She convinced friends, such as Anne Morgan, daughter of banker J.P. Morgan, to join her in converting the former industrial area into an avenue of grand townhouses. O
The townhouse is listed with Christie's International Realty.
What is I.M. Pei famous for?
I. M. Pei was one of the most renowned architects of the 20th and early 21st centuries. He is known for creating iconic landmarks and signature projects include the Louvre Pyramid and the National Gallery of Art's East Wing.
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e made his reputation by creating buildings intersecting art, history, and culture and, in 1983, he won the Pritzker Prize, the highest honor bestowed on a living architect.
Ruth Doherty is an interiors writer who has worked for Homes & Gardens and Ideal Home magazines among many others.
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