Appreciating all that makes America special

The Dakota, New York City

The Dakota Apartments, New York City

When The Dakota was constructed in 1884, its remote Upper West Side location may as well have been in the Dakotas. Uploaded by

Yes, it’s where John Lennon lived when he was shot in 1980, and Yoko lives there still. But The Dakota’s history, beauty, and architectural glory aren’t diminished by being the site of one awful event.

The Dakota Apartments, beside Central Park

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The Dakota graces the Upper West Side of New York, on Central Park West at 72nd Street. You can’t tell from most of the photos, and I was surprised to learn, that the building is actually a square, built around a central courtyard. The exterior is in the North German Renaissance style, though it’s said the interior has more of a French character. Since I’ll never have the means to own one of its apartments, or the connections to visit one, I’ll have to take the word of reference guides for this fact.

One of the most fascinating facts about The Dakota is the list of famous people who’ve lived there. In addition to the Lennons, they include: Lauren Bacall, Leonard Bernstein, Connie Chung, Rosemary Clooney, Harlan Coben, Roberta Flack, Judy Garland, Boris Karloff, John Madden, Rudolf Nureyev, Joe Namath, Gilda Radner, and Rex Reed. Just as interesting, perhaps, are the people the coop board has rejected: Antonio Banderas and Melanie Griffith, Gene Simmons, Billy Joel, and Carly Simon.

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