The Dakota was built in New York City’s far off Upper West side in the 1880’s. In those days that part of New York had few residents. It was then, as it is now, a fashionable address. The building itself is built around a central courtyard. Arched entrances allowed carriages to unload their passengers away from the weather.
When originally built, The Dakota, had 65 apartments. Each apartment was unique with some having as many as 20 rooms. What would a luxury apartment building be if it didn’t have its power plant as well as servant quarters and a playroom on the 10th floor? Somewhat later those 10th floor servant quarters were converted into apartments.
The residents of The Dakota are a hodge podge of the rich and famous. Connie Chung, Jack Palance and Lauren Bacall have resided here. Joe Namath, Judy Garland and Rosemary Clooney have all called it home. The Dakota’s two residents that put it on any Rock and Roller’s map are John Lennon and Yoko Ono. Yoko Ono still lives here as she has since 1973.
In December of 1980, John Lennon was murdered outside of The Dakota by a crazed fan, Mark David Chapman. Lennon had just returned from the Record Plant Studio. Chapman waited for Lennon in the shadows of The Dakota and shot the former Beatles frontman 4 times. Chapman made no attempt to flee the scene. He waited calmly for the police to arrive.
When asked by doorman Jose Perdomo if he knew what he had done, Chapman replied “Yes, I just shot John Lennon.” Lennon was rushed the Roosevelt Hospital, but the wounds were to vast and he was pronounced dead when he arrived.
You won’t be able to actually go inside The Dakota, unless you are buddies with one of its famous residents, but you can admire the building itself and the rock history that took place there from the sidewalk.
While you are visiting rock and roll places in NYC take some time to also visit Hotel Chelsea
Ella Kitchen and Bar
249 Columbus Ave
New York City, NY 10023-3330
167 W 74th St
New York City, NY 10023-2216
2130 Broadway, New York, NY 10023
The Milburn Hotel
242 W 76th St, New York, NY 10023