image of IM Pei townhouse

The townhouse where legendary architect I.M. Pei lived and envisioned some of his most famous works is on the market for $8M.

Legendary architect I.M. Pei died in May at 102 years old, leaving an impressive body of work that included the Louvre Pyramid in Paris. Though his masterpieces are scattered around the world, the Pritzker Prize-winner based his firm, Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, in New York City. It’s also where he lived for 45 years — in a four-story Sutton Place townhouse that’s now on the market for $8 million.

Pei’s son Sandi told the Wall Street Journal that when his father and mother, Eileen, bought the house in 1973, it was “dark and dirty and sort of crumbling.” But Pei overhauled the property, adding his modern aesthetic. And it’s everything you’d expect from the architect.

The nearly 4,000-square-foot home features a spiral staircase, several picture windows, Tasmanian oak and marble floors, a fireplace framed by soapstone, built-in bookshelves, and a skylight that looks like Pei’s famous glass pyramid at the Louvre. Elsewhere in the 4-bedroom, 3-bathroom home is a temperature-controlled wine cellar, private elevator, chef’s kitchen, and a garden.

Though each floor is stunning, the parlor level might be the most impressive. There are views of the river-facing private park in the rear through large windows, 10-foot ceilings, Pei-designed fireplaces, and a library with towering, built-in bookshelves. It was here where the design master would “host lively intellectual affairs with their circle of friends, global dignitaries, and artists,” according to the listing.

Sutton Place is quite remarkable as well. Socialite Anne Vanderbilt created the enclave in the 1920s as a place of refuge in the heart of the city. The result was 14 prewar townhouses wrapped in a U-shape around a private park that faces the East River. From the homes, there are views of Roosevelt Island and the Queensboro Bridge.

Edward Joseph of Christie’s International Real Estate is the listing agent. Christie’s will also host an auction of the incredible art collection of Pei and his wife. Works will include Jacques Lipchitz’s “Man with Guitar” and oil on canvas works by Zao Wou-Ki.

Midtown East and Upper East Side 1-4BRs Under $2.5M Article continues below

Inspired to find your next place in New York? Whether you’re looking to rent or to buy, search NYC apartments on StreetEasy.