The Dakota Building

image from: en.wikipedia.org

image from: en.wikipedia.org

Spooky, ominous, regal and intimidating – The Dakota Building is one of New York City’s most iconic residential structures.

image from: www.stefenturner.com

image from: www.stefenturner.com

Located on the northwest corner of 72nd Street and Central Park West on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, this grand building occupies a prime spot overlooking Central Park.

image from: www.thetimes.co.uk

image from: www.thetimes.co.uk

It was built in 1884 when the Manhattan skyline was sparse and largely undeveloped…

image from: commons.wikimedia.org

image from: commons.wikimedia.org

Amazing what a hundred or so years can do!

image from: collections.mcny.org

image from: collections.mcny.org

The Dakota is perhaps most famous for being the site of the murder of John Lennon, not to mention the residence he shared with his wife Yoko Ono.

image from: www.feelnumb.com

image from: www.feelnumb.com

The Dakota building has been home to many famous people in its time and it has also been the filming location of some notable movies – like the 1968 cult classic Rosemary’s Baby.

image from: thescreencave.com

image from: thescreencave.com

I saw Rosemary’s Baby a few years ago and it haunts me to this day. In fact, every time I see a picture of the Dakota building, I get a horrible yucky feeling in my stomach. (Thank you Roman Polanski!)

image from: pyxurz.blogspot.com

image from: pyxurz.blogspot.com

There is just something eternally creepy about this building. The dramatic spire rooflines, ornate finials, and Gothic styling on its façade – horror movie material at its best!

image from: bigseance.com

image from: bigseance.com

The complex has a large private courtyard for residents only and is actually a co-operative apartment building. The units range in size from 3 to 10 rooms and most have functioning fireplaces. But real estate here does not come cheap: units in the Dakota typically sell for between $4 million and $30 million, according to Wikipedia.

Rest assured, only the famed and financially elite can set up house here.

Lauren Bacall in her Dakota apartment, 1969

image from: www.people.com

image from: www.people.com

Past residents include: Lauren Bacall, Lillian Gish, Leonard Bernstein, Rosemary Clooney, John Madden, Connie Chung, Maury Povich, Gilda Radner, and many more former and current gliteratti of New York.

Historically, the Dakota had 65 apartments, with no two being alike. The apartments were (and still are) accessed by staircases and elevators in each of the corners of the courtyard.

image from: www.nyc-architecture.com

image from: www.nyc-architecture.com

One of the premier luxury residences of its time, the Dakota originally had amenities like a dining hall, dumbwaiters, a gymnasium, a playroom, and an in-house power plant.

Today, much of those spaces have been reconfigured into additional apartments.

Here’s a few photos of the interior in case you were curious:

image from: http://www.cityrealty.com/

image from: http://www.cityrealty.com/

image from: http://www.cityrealty.com/

image from: http://www.cityrealty.com/

image from: http://www.cityrealty.com/

image from: http://www.cityrealty.com/

image from: http://www.cityrealty.com/

image from: http://www.cityrealty.com/

image from: ny.curbed.com

image from: ny.curbed.com

image from: observer.com

image from: observer.com

image from: ny.curbed.com

image from: ny.curbed.com

Rich in history and city lore, few things about the Dakota have changed over the past 130 years. In fact, it is still manned by a white-gloved full-time doorman. Plus, the original oil-burning entry lights are still in use.

image from: hdrcreme.com

image from: hdrcreme.com

Creepy – in a dreary, old New York City way.

image from: za-men.eu

image from: za-men.eu

And Yoko Ono still lives there!

 

Sources:

Wikipedia.org

Streeteasy.com

Cityrealty.com

 

 

8 Comments

  • Sel says:

    SO happy to know you are still working this site. Welcome back and hopefully we will see more of your talent…thank you

  • Nick Kirby says:

    Thank you for another amazing post.I didnt know there was an amazing view to be had in NYC.

  • Annie Camp says:

    I don’t think it’s creepy at all. I lived in New York for 18 years during and after attending Juilliard, and that building had quite a presence in the neighborhood. You’d turn the corner and there it was. Yes, it was the site of John Lennon’s death but that amazing building lives on, full of rich history. Thanks for posting this! I’ve never seen photos of the interior apartments. I wonder what the courtyard looks like. Are there gardens? Thanks for your blog! I’m house crazy too! That’s why I left NYC, so I could afford a house of my own! lol

  • Perri R. says:

    You are SOOOO good! I’ve never seen interior shots of The Dakota, except the occasional celeb shot (like the Lauren Bacall pic). Excellent post on a fascinating building, thank you! Keep up the great work.

  • Sue says:

    So happy to see this Dakota Building where John Lennon was killed; I always wondered what it was like and great to know Ono still lives there. I cannot read or watch Rosemary’s Baby or any movie like it for the same reason as you. I love the building and the interior courtyard. You found some great photos to share.

Leave a Reply to housecrazy Cancel reply