The Dakota: 38 Years Away

One of the most iconic New York City buildings’ glamour seems to fade away throughout the years. In December, it’s been 38 years since John Lennon was assassinated as he was entering the Porte-Cochére of The Dakota.

Such an event stained the fanciness and glamour of actually one of the most beautiful apartment buildings in the city. The Dakota was constructed between 1880 and 1884; it was a novelty in the area as there was literally nothing around it. The architectural style was highly influenced by the Hanseatic League’s legacy and it was designed by Henry Janeway Hardenbergh’s team, who also designed the Plaza Hotel. The job was commissioned by Edward Cabot Clark, head of the Singer Manufacturing Company.

Originally, The Dakota had 65 apartments with 4 to 20 rooms, with no two being alike. These apartments are accessed by staircases and elevators placed in the four corners of the courtyard. Separate service stairs and elevators serving the kitchens are located in mid-block. Built to cater to the well-to-do, The Dakota featured many amenities and a modern infrastructure that was exceptional for the time. The building has a large dining hall. Meals also could be sent up to the apartments by dumbwaiters.

It’s no big mystery why celebrities liked the place; it was seriously designed to celebrate life. Unfortunately one of the most productive and biggest generational influences was murdered at the doorstep of this festive palace turning its light into deep darkness.

Almost four decades later, only two years from reaching Lennon’s age at his departure, we celebrate again from a different point of view: Having had him between us and being grateful for such an amazing piece of architectural history. 

Thank you all.