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As you get to the corner of 72nd Street and Central Park West, you usually find a small crowd of people taking pictures of The Dakota, a private appartment building that was built between 1880 and 1884. Although this very elegant building has had its fair share of famous residents, including Judy Garland, Jack Palance and Roberta Flack, none were perhaps as famous as John Lennon and Yoko Ono. It was in the main entrance to the building that the ex-Beatles was shot by Mark David Chapman on December 8, 1980. Many fans and visitors come to pay their respect, often leaving flowers at the nearby Strawberry Fields memorial, located across the street in Central Park.
On a different note, The Dakota was also featured in Roman Polanski's 1968 horror movie "Rosemary's Baby", which was based on the novel by Ira Levin (one of the scariest books I've ever read!). The Dakota was featured as The Bramford, a New York City appartment building with a long history of strange deaths and murders.
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The Dakota and Strawberry Fields
The Dakota is one of the most exclusive and famous apartment co-op blocks in New York. It became most famous (or infamous) to non-New Yorkers as the place were John Lennon lived in the years before he was shot down at the door steps of the building. This tragedy has overshadowed the Dakota's standing as a architectural marvel that today is National Historic Landmark.
The Dakota was built in the 1880's after a design by the architectural firm of Henry Janeway Hardenbergh. The facade of the building features several outstanding features including, high gables, deep roofs with a profusion of dormers, terracotta spandrels and panels, niches, balconies and balustrades. Together these characteristics tend to give it a High German Renaissance look that is eye-catching. The fact is these features drew me to building during my first visit to New York rather than the somewhat ghoulish wonder of seeing the place where John Lennon was shot. I only realized it afterward. Over the years many other celebrities have lived here too however it is still very difficult to pass the co-op's board as they are very selective.
Across the street from the Dakota is Central Park and lot of land set aside called "Strawberry Fields" in honour of John Lennon. There is a memorial here that is triangular in shape. At it's focul point is mosaic with "Imagine" spelled out in the centre. Fans frequent here during annivesaries and birthdays' of the Beatles.
The Dakota is located at the corner of 72nd Street and Central Park West.
- Historical Travel
Dakota was the home of John Lennon and Yoko Ono. Lennon was killed just in the front of his home on the sidewalk.
Dakota was built in 1882. It has 103 apartments and 10 Floors. The architect is Henry J. Hardenbergh.
I've read that the building's name was an ironic reference to its distance from the urban core--it was so far north that it was said to be in the Dakota Territory.
The address is One West 72nd Street at Central Park West.
The Dakota was one of the first buildings built in the Upper West Side (1882). For a long time, the Dakota stood alone in this section of Central Park West (at 72nd street), then a remote street in the distant Upper West Side. But when the neighborhood grew and became one of the premier residential areas in the city, the Dakota was the premier building, with its spacious apartments, high ceilings, and unobstructed views of Central Park.
The Dakota is precious for its architecture, and is a historical landmark. John Lennon, the star of the Beatles, lived in the Dakota and was shot in front of it. Many people still stop by to remember the star. A tribute to John Lennon has been set in "Strawberry fields", in Central Park right in front of the Dakota.
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One of Manhattan's most prestigious addresses ...
Designed in 1880 by the "Plaza" hotel architect Henry J. Hardenbergh, the Dakota was New York's first luxury apartment house. Originally surrounded by squatter's shacks and wandering farm animals, it got its name due to the fact that it was so far from the rest of Manhattan that it "might just as well have been in Dakota" (note the carved Indian head over the entrance). The 65 apartments became, however, among Manhattan's most prestigious addresses. Formers owners include actress/singer Judy Garland, actor Boris Karloff, composer Leonard Bernstein - John Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, still lives there.
The building was the setting for the film "Rosemary's Baby" - it was also the site of the murder of former Beatle John Lennon.
How to get there :
The building is on the opposite side of the Central Park entrance at West 72nd St ( to get there, take the B or C train to 72nd St - or you can take take the 1/2/3 or 9 train to 72nd St at Broadway and then walk 2 blocks east) .
other nearby sites of interest :
-Central Park : Strawberry Fields (also the site of the "Imagine" monument in honour of John Lennon), Cherry Hill, The Lake and Bow Bridge
-Museums : the New York Historical Society (3 blocks north), the American Museum of Natural History and the adjacent Rose Center for Earth and Space (7 blocks north)
-Architecture : the Majestic Apartments (1 block south), the Dorilton Hotel (2 blocks west), the Hotel des Artistes (5 blocks south), the Ansonia Hotel (2 blocks west and 1 block north), the twin San Remo apartment towers (2 blocks north).
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