Mon . 19 Apr 2019

The Dakota

the dakota apartments new york, the dakota
The Dakota, also known as Dakota Apartments, is a cooperative apartment building located on the northwest corner of 72nd Street and Central Park West in the Upper West Side of Manhattan in New York City, United States It was built in 1884 and is considered to be one of Manhattan's most prestigious and exclusive cooperative residential buildings

The Dakota is famous as the home of former Beatle John Lennon from 1973 to his murder outside the building in 1980


  • 1 History
  • 2 Features
  • 3 Notable residents
  • 4 Cultural significance
  • 5 References
  • 6 Further reading
  • 7 External links


The Dakota from Central Park, c 1890 South entrance, where John Lennon was shot

The Dakota was constructed between October 25, 1880, and October 27, 188434 The architectural firm of Henry Janeway Hardenbergh was commissioned to create the design for Edward Clark, head of the Singer Sewing Machine Company The firm also designed the Plaza Hotel5

The Dakota was purportedly so named because at the time of construction, the area was sparsely inhabited and considered as remote in relation to the inhabited area of Manhattan as the Dakota Territory was However, the earliest recorded appearance of this account is in a 1933 newspaper interview with the Dakota's long-time manager, quoted in Christopher Gray's book New York Streetscapes: "Probably it was called 'Dakota' because it was so far west and so far north" According to Gray, it is more likely that the building was named the Dakota because of Clark's fondness for the names of the new western states and territories6

The Dakota was designated a New York City Landmark in 19697 The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1972,1 and was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 197628

The Dakota's façade was renovated in 20159


The Dakota c 1890; at the time, this area of Manhattan was sparsely developed, and remote from the core of the city's population Elevation south, the front of the building

The building's high gables and deep roofs with a profusion of dormers, terracotta spandrels and panels, niches, balconies, and balustrades give it a German Renaissance character, an echo of a Hanseatic town hall Nevertheless, its layout and floor plan betray a strong influence of French architectural trends in housing design that had become known in New York in the 1870s High above the 72nd Street entrance, the figure of a Dakota Indian keeps watch1011

The Dakota is square building, built around a central courtyard The arched main entrance is a porte-cochère large enough for the horse-drawn carriages that once entered and allowed passengers to disembark sheltered from the weather Many of these carriages were housed in a multi-story stable building built in two sections, 1891–94, at the southwest corner of 77th Street and Amsterdam Avenue, where elevators lifted them to the upper floors The "Dakota Stables" building was in operation as a garage until February 2007, when it was slated to be transformed by the Related Companies into a condominium residence12 Since then, the large condominium building The Harrison occupies its spot1011

The general layout of the apartments is in the French style of the period, with all major rooms connected to each other, in enfilade, and also accessible from a hall or corridor The arrangement allows a natural migration for guests from one room to another, especially on festive occasions, yet gives service staff discreet separate circulation patterns that offer service access to the main rooms The principal rooms, such as parlors or the master bedroom, face the street, while the dining room, kitchen, and other auxiliary rooms are oriented toward the courtyard Apartments thus are aired from two sides, which was a relative novelty in Manhattan at the time Some of the drawing rooms are 49 ft 15 m long, and many of the ceilings are 14 ft 43 m high; the floors are inlaid with mahogany, oak, and cherry1011

Originally, the Dakota had 65 apartments with 4 to 20 rooms, no two being alike These apartments are accessed by staircases and elevators placed in the four corners of the courtyard Separate service stairs and elevators serving the kitchens are located in mid-block Built to cater to the well-to-do, the Dakota featured many amenities and a modern infrastructure that was exceptional for the time The building has a large dining hall; meals also could be sent up to the apartments by dumbwaiters Electricity was generated by an in-house power plant, and the building has central heating Beside servant quarters, there was a playroom and a gymnasium under the roof In later years, these spaces on the tenth floor were converted into apartments The Dakota property also contained a garden, private croquet lawns, and a tennis court behind the building between 72nd and 73rd Streets1011

All apartments were let before the building opened, but it was a long-term drain on the fortune of Clark, who died before it was completed, and his heirs For the high society of Manhattan, it became fashionable to live in the building, or at least to rent an apartment there as a secondary city residence, and the Dakota's success prompted the construction of many other luxury apartment buildings in Manhattan1011

An entrance to the 72nd Street station of the New York City Subway's A, ​B, and ​C trains is outside the building1314

Notable residentsedit

Notable residents of the Dakota have included:

This is a dynamic list and may never be able to satisfy particular standards for completeness You can help by expanding it with reliably sourced entries
  • Lauren Bacall, actress;15 died here in 2014
  • Harley Baldwin, real estate developer and art dealer16
  • Ward Bennett, architect and designer17
  • Leonard Bernstein, composer and conductor18
  • Connie Chung, newscaster19
  • Rosemary Clooney, singer, actress20
  • Harlan Coben, author21
  • Bob Crewe, songwriter, record producer, artist22
  • José Ferrer, actor23
  • Roberta Flack, singer24
  • Buddy Fletcher, businessman25
  • Charles Henri Ford, poet, artist and publisher26
  • Ruth Ford, actress26
  • Judy Garland, actress19
  • Lillian Gish, actress27
  • Paul Goldberger, architecture critic28
  • William Inge, playwright19
  • Boris Karloff, actor29
  • John Lennon, musician and composer; murdered here in 198030
  • Sean Lennon, musician and composer31
  • Warner LeRoy, producer and restaurateur28
  • John Madden, football coach and commentator32
  • Frederick S Mates, financier33
  • Albert Maysles, documentary filmmaker34
  • Joe Namath, football player35
  • Rudolf Nureyev, dancer36
  • Rosie O'Donnell, actress37
  • Patrick O'Neal, actor and restaurateur38
  • Yoko Ono, artist, widow of John Lennon39
  • Jack Palance, actor40
  • Ruth Porat, investment banker41
  • Maury Povich, television host42
  • Gilda Radner, comedian43
  • Rex Reed, critic19
  • Jason Robards, actor15
  • Jane Rosenthal, film producer44
  • Wilbur Ross, financier45
  • Robert Ryan, actor46
  • Harper Simon, musician and composer47
Archival photograph of the South entrance

Although historically home to many creative or artistic people, the building and its co-op board of directors were criticized in 2005 by former resident Albert Maysles who attempted to sell his ownership to actors Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas, who were rejected Maysles expressed his "disappointment with the way the building seems to be changing" by telling The New York Times: "What's so shocking is that the building is losing its touch with interesting people More and more, they're moving away from creative people and going toward people who just have the money"48 Even prior to this, Gene Simmons,49 Billy Joel,50 and Carly Simon51 were denied residency by the board In 2002 the board rejected corrugated-cardboard magnate and Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor of New York, Dennis Mehiel52

Cultural significanceedit

The south entrance of the building was the location of the murder of John Lennon It is prominently featured in Andrew Piddington's 2006 film The Killing of John Lennon; the Dakota was only used for exterior shots In Roman Polanski's 1968 film Rosemary's Baby, the Dakota was used for exterior shots of "The Bramford", the apartment building where several of the characters live


  1. ^ a b National Park Service 2006-03-15 "National Register Information System" National Register of Historic Places National Park Service 
  2. ^ a b "Dakota Apartments" National Historic Landmark summary listing National Park Service September 11, 2007 Archived from the original on June 5, 2011 
  3. ^ Historic American Buildings Survey HABS, "The Dakota, HSBS No NY-5467"permanent dead link, pp 1-11; retrieved July 3, 2013
  4. ^ Brockmann, Jorg et al 2002, One Thousand New York Buildings, pp 342–343, p 342, at Google Books
  5. ^ The superintendent of the construction of the Dakota Building was George Henry Griebel, born and trained in Berlin, Prussia, and Karl Jacobson, who were hired as architects for the project "Griebel also designed and supervised buildings for the Clark Estate for a period of eighteen years after building the Dakota Building including the Singer Manufacturing Company Office Building on Third Avenue and Sixteenth Street, fourteen houses on West Eighty-fifth St, a row of houses on West Seventy-fourth Street; both being near Columbus Ave, the Barnett Store, Columbus and Seventy-fourth St and many others"
  6. ^ Gray, Christopher New York Streetscapes Harry N Abrams, Inc pp 326–328 ISBN 0-8109-4441-3 
  7. ^ Birmingham, Stephen 1996 Life at the Dakota: New York's Most Unusual Address, pp 130-131
  8. ^ Carolyn Pitts August 10, 1976 "National Register of Historic Places Inventory: Dakota Apartments" PDF National Park Service Retrieved June 21, 2009  and Accompanying photos, exterior, undated 165 MB
  9. ^ "The Iconic Dakota, Built in 1884, Is Getting Some Work Done" Curbed NY 
  10. ^ a b c d e "New York Architecture Photos: Dakota Apartments" NewYorkitecture 
  11. ^ a b c d e NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission designation report
  12. ^ Christopher Gray: "Streetscapes: The Dakota Stables; A 'Soft-Site' Garage on the Booming West Side", The New York Times, May 24, 1987 accessed December 7, 2010
  13. ^ Google May 12, 2015 "Street view of The Dakota" Map Google Maps Google Retrieved May 12, 2015 
  14. ^ "MTA Neighborhood Maps: Upper West Side" PDF mtainfo Metropolitan Transportation Authority 2015 Retrieved 30 September 2015 
  15. ^ a b Bellafante, Ginia February 24, 2005 "At Home With Lauren Bacall" The New York Times Retrieved April 7, 2015 
  16. ^ New York Observer June 29, 1992
  17. ^ "Ward Bennett, 85, Dies; Designed With American Style", The New York Times August 16, 2003
  18. ^ "Buy Leonard Bernstein's Dakota Apartment for Only 255 Million" November 5, 2006
  19. ^ a b c d Appleton, Kate "Landmarks: The Dakota" New York Magazine website Retrieved December 30, 2009 
  20. ^ "Life at the Dakota", Stephen Birmingham, 1979
  21. ^ "Thriller at the Dakota! Harlan Coben's Discounted Duplex", The New York Observer, April 21, 2010
  22. ^ Mitchell, James A "It was All Right: Mitch Ryder's Life in Music," Wayne State University Press, 2008, p49
  23. ^ "Life at the Dakota", Stephen Birmingham, 1979
  24. ^ Elder, Roberta Flack interview, The Sydney Mordning Herald, January 28, 2009 accessed January 20, 2010
  25. ^ New York Post
  26. ^ a b "Upper West Side Butler Inherits Two Apartments in the Dakota" DNAinfo New York Archived from the original on October 22, 2013 
  27. ^ "Homesteading at the Dakota," The New York Times, July 27, 2010, p R–2; Ruth P Smith's apartment was once the home of Lillian Gish
  28. ^ a b "Here at the Dakota," "New York Magazine", June 18, 1979, page 44
  29. ^ Business Insider
  30. ^ Haughney, Christine December 6, 2010 "Sharing the Dakota With John Lennon" The New York Times 
  31. ^ Luxury Listings NYC
  32. ^ "John Madden's Dakota Co-op Returns to Market for $39M" Curbed NY 
  33. ^ Birmingham, Stephen 1 April 1996 Life at the Dakota: New York's Most Unusual Address Syracuse University Press p 192 ISBN 978-0-8156-0338-2 
  34. ^ Rosenblum, Constance August 2, 2009 "A Life in Pictures: Albert Maysles" The New York Times Retrieved May 25, 2010 
  35. ^ "Joe Namath Looses Some Of His Padding", New York Daily News, February 21, 2000
  36. ^ The contents of Rudolf Nureyev's Dakota apartment fetched almost $8 million in a two-day sale at Christie's "Nureyev Auction Tops Estimates", The New York Times, January 15, 1995
  37. ^ "Moon New York Walks," Moon Travel Guides, Avalon Publishing, 2017
  38. ^ http://wwwgettyimagescom/detail/news-photo/actor-restaurateur-patrick-oneal-at-table-with-family-news-photo/72403808#actorrestaurateur-patrick-oneal-at-table-with-family-during-a-party-picture-id72403808
  39. ^ Business Insider
  40. ^ Stephen Birmingham, Life at the Dakota: New York's most unusual address 1996:85
  41. ^ "A Morning at the Dakota", The Washington Post February 19, 2008
  42. ^ Business Insider
  43. ^ "We lived in the legendary Dakota apartment building and held each other tight on the night John Lennon was killed" Radner, It's Always Something
  44. ^ A Morning at the Dakota", "The Washington Post" February 19, 2008
  45. ^ "Who's Killing Betsey", "New York Magazine" May 13, 1996
  46. ^ "The Actor's Letter" Chicago Reader 
  47. ^ Wilks, Jon December 28, 2009 "Harper Simon Interview" TimeOut Retrieved September 1, 2017 
  48. ^ Neuman, William June 19, 2005 "New Co-op for Soup Executive" The New York Times Retrieved May 25, 2010 
  49. ^ Tony Schwartz "Plan by Nixon to Buy Co-op in City Is Opposed by Some Other Owners:Board Vote Called Favorable" The New York Times, August 1, 1979
  50. ^ Albin Krebs "Notes on People: Dakota Blocks Billy Joel's Bid to Buy Apartment" The New York Times, June 28, 1980
  51. ^ "Carly Simon Sues For Flat Deposit", BBC News, September 29, 2003
  52. ^ Max Abelson "Dakota-Spurned Cardboard Magnate Mehiel Asking $35 M for Carhart Mansion Duplex" The New York Observer, August 12, 2008

Further readingedit

The Dakota in the snow
  • Cardinal: "The Dakota Apartments: Vintage Articles of the World's Most Famous Apartment Building", Campfire Publishing, 2013
  • Cardinal: "The Dakota Scrapbook, Campfire Publishing, 2014
  • Cardinal: "The Dakota Apartments: A Pictorial History of New York's Legendary Landmark, Campfire Publishing, 2015
  • Cardinal: "A Grand Tour of the Dakota Apartments: A Journey Through Time of the Interior & Exterior of New York's Legendary Landmark, Campfire Publishing, 2015
  • Birmingham, S: Life at the Dakota, Syracuse University Press Reprint edition, 1996 ISBN 0-8156-0338-X Originally published by Random House, 1979, ISBN 0-394-41079-3
  • Brockmann, Jorg and Bill Harris 2002 One Thousand New York Buildings New York: Black Dog & Leventhal ISBN 9781579122379; OCLC 48619292
  • Schoenauer, N: 6,000 Years of Housing, 3rd ed, pp 335 – 336, WW Norton & Co, 2001 ISBN 0-393-73120-0
  • Van Pelt, D Leslie's History of the Greater New York, Volume III New York: Arkell Publishing Company 110 Fifth Avenue, 1898,
  • L A Williams Publishing and Engraving Company Encyclopedia of Biography and Genealogy, vol III pp 656
  • Jarrett Schaefer "Chapter 27" Paramount Films, 2007

External linksedit

  • Media related to The Dakota at Wikimedia Commons
  • Works related to The Dakota at Wikisource
  • The Dakota: New York’s First Luxury Apartment Building, New York Observer
  • Upper West Side/Central Park West, Historic District Designation Report, Volume 1: Essays/ Architects' Appendix, New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, April 24, 1990

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