Christie’s International Real Estate presents for sale the Sutton Place townhouse of renowned architect I.M. Pei
Published Wednesday, October 23, 2019 Updated on Thursday, October 24, 2019

Christie’s International Real Estate presents for sale the Sutton Place townhouse of renowned architect I.M. Pei

Mr. Pei’s indelible signature lives on in his New York City home with a stunning spiral staircase and geometric skylight, as well as glass walls providing panoramic views of the private park and the East River beyond

New York, New York (October 23, 2019) — Christie’s International Real Estate, the real estate arm of Christie’s, the world’s leading art auction house, today announced that its New York City brokerage will market for sale the home of I.M. Pei for US$8,000,000. The historic four-story townhouse Mr. Pei and his wife, Eileen, acquired more than 45 years ago from Laura “Polly” Delano, President Franklin Roosevelt’s cousin, is in the quiet and tree-lined enclave of Sutton Place in New York City.

Mr. Pei, whose legacy spans the globe, designed some of the world’s most memorable landmarks. His accomplishments include The Louvre Pyramid in Paris, the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and 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. Mr. Pei made his reputation by creating buildings intersecting art, history and culture. In 1983, he won the Pritzker Prize, the highest honor bestowed on a living architect; the jury citation stated that he “has given this century some of its most beautiful interior spaces and exterior forms.”

Edward Joseph, one of Christie’s International Real Estate’s top New York City brokers and a member of its Masters Circle, represents the property. About the significant listing, Mr. Joseph said: “Our company’s expertise and appreciation for both fine art and built art perfectly position us to market the Pei townhouse for sale globally. I am honored to have been chosen to represent the sale of the property that this towering figure of architecture called home.” Christie’s will also be offering the superb collection assembled by Eileen and I.M. Pei, avid collectors of Post-War and Contemporary Art, this fall at sales in New York, Hong Kong and Paris. 

The Pei residence is accessed at street level, opening to a grand marble foyer and a breathtaking spiral staircase of Mr. Pei’s design. Ascending from the ground floor to the home’s three upper levels, the staircase is capped with a large oblong skylight enhanced with a geometric treatment, that was also designed by Mr. Pei.

Flooding the four-bedroom home with natural light are the walls of windows Mr. Pei installed on the top three floors to look out on the verdant park and the river. On the first floor a formal dining room opens onto a private garden and residents’ park beyond. The second floor has a library with built-in bookshelves that can be easily converted to a fifth bedroom, and an airy living room in which the Peis loved to host lively intellectual affairs with their circle of friends, global dignitaries and artists. The third floor has a spacious master bedroom and an en suite bathroom and a second bedroom. There are two additional bedrooms and two bathrooms on the fourth floor.

Additional features of the townhouse include four working fireplaces, of which three of the mantles were designed by Mr. Pei, a powder room on the main floor, an elevator serving all four levels and the basement, and a temperature-controlled wine cellar in the basement, with additional space that could be further utilized by the next owners. 

Sutton Place, one of New York’s most exclusive and bucolic enclaves, is comprised of 14 stately townhouses arranged in a U-shape surrounding a private park facing the East River with views of the Queensborough Bridge and Roosevelt Island. The neighborhood has been referred to as “Little London” because the pre-war townhouses are reminiscent of that city’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. Other notable families followed in the years since, drawn by the river views and quiet access to nature, with five-star dining, upscale culture and fine shopping in walking distance.

 

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About Christie’s International Real Estate

Christie’s International Real Estate has successfully marketed high-value real estate around the world for more than 30 years. Through its New York City brokerage and invitation-only Affiliate network spanning 49 countries and territories, Christie’s International Real Estate offers incomparable services to a global clientele at the luxury end of the residential property market. The company has offices in London, New York City, Hong Kong, Moscow, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Palm Beach, and its affiliated brokerages have recorded approximately US$500 billion of real estate transactions over the last five years. (Data as of September 30, 2019.) For additional information, please visit christiesrealestate.com.

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