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Favorite Buildings – The Dakota

The Dakota or the Dakota Apartments is a cooperative apartment building on the northwest corner of 72nd Street and Central Park West in the Upper West Side of the borough of Manhattan in New York City, New York.  Construction was completed in 1884.

There are a couple of different theories on how the building got its name.  One of them is that at the time of construction the area was sparsely inhabited and remote just as the Dakota Territory was considered remote.

Originally the Dakota had 65 apartments with 4 to 20 rooms — no two apartments were alike.  It had a large dining hall, dumbwaiters, an in-house power plant and central heating.  Elevators and staircases are in the four corners of the central courtyard.  Servants’ quarters, playroom and gymnasium on the tenth floor have now been converted into apartments.  Some of the drawing rooms are 49 feet long; and many of the ceilings are 14 feet high.  Floors are inlaid with mahogany, oak and cherry

The arched main entrance was large enough to accommodate horse-drawn carriages.  A multi-story stable building was built between 1891-1894 with an elevator to reach the upper floors.  It was operated as a garage until 2007 when it was transformed into a condominium residence, The Harrison. The Dakota once had a garden, croquet lawns and a tennis court behind the building.

John Lennon and Yoko Ono lived at the Dakota from 1973-1980.  Lennon was shot and killed in 1980 in the archway of the building.  Some of the other notables that have lived in the building are Connie Chung, Lauren Bacall, Judy Garland, Boris Karloff, Joe Namath and Rosie O’Donnell.

The Dakota was used for exterior shots of “The Bramford” in the movie “Rosemary’s Baby”.  The Dakota is moving away from creative people and moving toward people who just have money.  Gene Simmons, Billy Joel and Carly Simon have been denied residency for that reason.

Photo Credit:  Wikimedia Commons

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Written by LindaOH

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15 Comments

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  1. Great article and I was wondering the facade of the building is the ‘Wedding cake’ like around the outside edges are kind of fancy. I think I read in some of my basic humanities courses in college some architecture have like a ‘wedding cake facade’.

  2. I`m interested in your comment about needing money to live there. That would seem to have been the case from the outset – especially if you lived in the 20-room apartment! However, I`m surprised to learn that the three showbiz people you mention are apparently not rich enough to live there.

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