Lee Mogel of New York city and West Tisbury died on Feb. 27. He was 81.

Born in Brooklyn, Lee attended Brooklyn College where he majored in studio art and studied with Mark Rothko and Ad Reinhardt. He then attended Yale University School of Architecture where he learned from Josef Albers and Louis Kahn. During his 40-year career, he designed and managed major architectural projects here and abroad, including airports, office buildings, hospitals and other commercial structures. Above all, he was a world traveler, an inventive tinkerer and an artist. 

He was a part-time resident of the Vineyard since 1982. The Vineyard was a very special place for him as it was where he had the time and space to experiment and dream. He designed and built his only residential project here — his own house. It was based on ideas from his time at architecture school in the 1950s, and incorporated unusual angles and octagonal structures. It is full of his handmade, whimsical touches, such as gargoyle water-spouts in the shape of fish, made from scrap metal; and an entire simulated sculpture garden made of individual pieces of metal junk placed carefully on pedestals, painted bright, monochromatic colors, and hidden in a clearing in the woods.

Certain Vineyard traditions made him extremely happy: being able to sit on the beach at Long Point, thanks to the kind staff and the electric cart when the effects of Parkinson’s made it difficult for him to get there on his own; eating oysters from Larsen’s in Menemsha; visiting various lumberyards and hardware stores to collect materials for a new art or building project; and spending time with his family when they visited during the summer months.

He was a regular writer of letters to the editor and opinion pieces to the Gazette from 1994 until 2009. He used humor and artful satire to opine on the inexorable development of the Vineyard. A memorable piece, Fences at Deep Bottom Road Pose Riddle, cited Alaska’s Bridge to Nowhere, Boston’s Big Dig, Robert Frost, Abraham Lincoln, and the riddle of the Sphinx.

He is lovingly remembered by his wife Gretta, his daughters Lize and Claudia, and his three grandchildren. His family requests that gifts in his memory be made to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation.