Built in 1884 and commissioned by the founder of Singer Sewing Machines, Edward Clark, this building is truly one of a kind. I say that in truth not only to be poetic. Named Dakota since in the late 1800’s this was the only building in his area. So far West and so far North, rightfully so named after the state that is so far away in comparison to New York.
This building so magnificent, comes 2nd only to Versailles and Buckingham Palace. No two apartments alike and cost ranging from $4 million – $30 million. Oddly in the 20th century the rent at the Dakota was affordable and after WW2 they declared rent control! Having the same architect as that of The Plaza Hotel… ever notice there are no fire escapes? That is because the genius minds discovered using MUD from the then new Central Park in between each brick floor layering – this made the apartments not only fireproof but soundproof too! My favorite, the entrance is so huge in order to let the Horse Carriages enter so the residents could steer clear from the weather, further – there were elevators that lift the carriages up to the exact floor that resident lived on!
Now, who lived in this marvelous building? Of course Edward Clark has his own apartment (with a floor made of sterling silver, of course) but also, John Lennon and his partner Yoko Ono owned 5 apartments at one time and Yoko still owns a few – John sadly passed away in front of entrance. Lauren Bacall lived here for over 5 decades, Judy Garland and fictionally Tom Cruise in Vanilla Sky as well as Niles Crane from Frasier, he lived in the ‘Montana’ where the Dakota’ exterior was used. The Dakota is invite only to move in, with this – who was rejected? Well.. Madonna for starters, along with Billy Joel, Melanie Griffith and Antonio, Cher and ARod – allegedly… very interesting.
Sadly filming is not allowed inside at all, there was a chance I could walk through, but I cannot go without bringing you guys! Luckily the lovely doorman left me with a story! Thank you in advance to him because this is a great one.
Supposedly.. a historian came by years ago and shared what I am about to tell. If you look at the entrance again, above you will notice two faces at the top left and right corners, the left is of Edward Clark and the right is his wife Caroline Jordan. Supposedly the couple went out one night with the French designer of The Statue of Liberty (I believe it is Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi and not Gustave Eiffel who designed the interior). The designer and Caroline hit it off, had an affair and it is now HER face that he used a inspiration for Liberty’s face! Again, this is only a story, I researched and could find no truth to this… however.. anything is possible
Enjoy the gorgeous building that became a Landmark in 1976!