Dakota Apartments


Dakota Apartments is a cooperative apartment building, located at 1 West 72nd Street, Upper West Side in New York City. It was completed in 1884 and designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1976. Because it has been well-maintained and little altered since its construction, the building retains to a very great extent its original layout and decorative features.

The nine-story building was designed by Henry Janeway Hardenbergh (the same architect of the Old Waldorf-Astoria and the Plaza), for Edward Cabot Clark, head of the Singer Manufacturing Company. Construction began on October 25, 1880, on the Central Park West block between Seventy-second and Seventy-third streets. At the time, most of Upper Manhattan was still farmland. The builder was John Banta.

The Dakota is a square building erected around a central courtyard and of a Renaissance style. It is considered the first luxury apartment building in New York City. Originally, there were 65 apartments with four to 16 rooms. All apartments were let before the building opened on October 27, 1884.

By the late 19th century and early 20th century a few others apartment hotels were built in the area, like the Marie Antoinette, the Ansonia and the Hotel Majestic, located across 72nd Street.

In 1897, George P. Douglass became the manages of the Dakota.

In 1959, the Dakota was managed by Horace S. Ely & Co. In January 1961, Glickman Corporation bought the Dakota from the heirs of Edward Severin Clark (1870-1933). It then contained 100 apartments, from five to fourteen rooms. In April, its tenants reached an agreement to buy the Dakota and turn it into a cooperative.

The Dakota has a beautiful design, major architectural significance and is one of the most famous apartment buildings in New York. It had several notable residents, like Lauren Bacall, Leonard Bernstein, Judy Garland, Rudolf Nureyev and others. This legendary apartment building was the setting of some films and was the home of John Lennon, from 1973 until December 8, 1980, when he was assassinated at the south entrance.


Dakota Apartments


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Dakota Apartment House






Dakota Apartments about 1920.


Central Park


West 72nd Street


Illustration of the inner courtyard of the Dakota Apartment House as published in the The Daily Graphic, September 10, 1884, from Library of Congress. It gives every room in the house light and ventilation. Under this courtyard is the basement, into which lead broad entrances for the use of tradesmen's teams.


Central Park images


Skating in Central Park in front of the Dakota, c.1890. Photograph by J.S. Johnston from The New York Historical Society.


Buildings on Central Park West seen from Central Park. The Dakota is in the center. The Majestic Apartments, on the left, was completed in 1931 on the site of the old Hotel Majestic. The Langham Apartments, completed in 1907, is on the right. Photograph by Percy Loomis Sperr (1890-1964) taken in 1933 (source: New York Public Library).


Dakota Apartment House






Skating Central Park


Detail of the façade of the Dakota, 1965 (Library of Congress).


Entrance Dakota


External detail in the Dakota (J.S. Fass/NYPL.).


Central Park West


Hotel Majestic


Dakota Flats NY


Hotel Pierre


Dakota Apartments


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