The Dakota – New York City, New York

Part of The Blog Cabin’s 31 Days of Spooky Fun 2017 Series


One of my favorite buildings in New York City and probably the most sought after residential real estate just about anywhere is The Dakota, located at Central Park West and 72nd Street.

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Edward Clark, who ran the Singer Sewing Machine Company, commissioned Henry Janeway Hardenbergh for The Dakota.  Hardenbergh also designed the Plaza Hotel and the original Waldorf-Astoria, that was demolished in 1929 to make way for the Empire State Building.  Clark decided on the name Dakota because he was interested in new western territories. A Dakota Indian can be seen above the 72nd Street entrance.

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Most famous for being the residence of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, John was shot and killed at the entrance to the building in 1980.  Not a far walk from there is Strawberry Fields, a memorial to Lennon in Central Park.  It is a lovely tribute and I have never seen it without flowers being left by fans and admirers.

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The Dakota was also the location of Rosemary and Guy’s apartment in Rosemary’s Baby.

Celebrities that have or do reside here are Lauren Bacall, Jason Robards, Leonard Bernstein, Lillian Gish, Rosemary Clooney, Roberta Flack, Jose Ferrer, Boris Karloff, Judy Garland, Rudolf Nureyev, Gilda Radner.

Celebrity and fame do not guarantee you a residence.  Rumored to have been denied are Billy Joel, Carly Simon, Antonio Banderas, Melanie Griffith, Cher, Madonna, Judd Apatow and Téa Leoni.

As for the hauntings at The Dakota, there have been several reported.

The Dakota’s original owner, Edward Clark, had an interest in the paranormal, and would often host séances to communicate with the dead.

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John Lennon himself claimed to have seen a crying lady ghost figure wandering the halls.

Years after Lennon’s death, Yoko Ono said to have seen him sitting at his white piano.  He told her not to be afraid, that he was still with her.

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Other residents are said to have encountered an apparition of a friendly little girl, about 7 years old, smiling and laughing and greeting people in the hallways.  Also, sightings of a little boy dressed like Buster Brown have been seen by several staff members.


The Dakota

1 W 72nd St.

New York, NY 10023

Location:  40.77699, -73.97606

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