New book – The Dakota A History of the World’s Best-Known Apartment Building

Just spotted this new book, which came out during the summer. Here is the info from the publisher.

The Dakota
A History of the World’s Best-Known Apartment Building
Andrew Alpern

ISBN 9781616894375
Publication date 07/01/2015
8 x 11 inches (20.3 x 27.9 cm), Hardcover
224 pages, 150 color illustrations, 20 b/w illustrations

Available now


The Dakota is arguably the best-known residential address in the world, home to dozens of New York City’s most famous artists, performers, and successful executives. The rare sale of an apartment there, usually at jaw- dropping prices, is newsworthy, as is the financial and architectural health of the building itself, a landmark in every sense of the word. The first true luxury apartment house built in New York City, more than 130 years ago, the Dakota is still the gold standard against which all other apartment buildings are weighed. Historian Andrew Alpern tells the fascinating story of how the Dakota came to be, how Singer sewing magnate Edward Clarke dared to build an apartment building luxurious enough to coax the city’s wealthy from their mansions downtown for ultra-modern living on what was then the swamplands of the Upper West Side. Redrawn plans of the entire building, published here for the first time, show how Clarke created apartments glamorous enough that they made living under a shared roof as acceptable in Manhattan as it already was in Europe’s grand capitals, forever revolutionizing apartment life in NewYork City.

  • The first full-length history of this internationally iconic building, replete with historical construction photographs and transcribed newspaper reports from its time of building.
  • More recent illustrated articles are reprinted in their entirety to provide a virtual reference library on the Dakota and some of its most famous residents, including Judy Garland, Leonard Bernstein, Joe Namath, Boris Karloff, Gilda Radner, Yoko Ono, and Lauren Bacall.
  • Includes reprints of several lifestyle magazine pieces showing the interiors of the apartments of dancer Rudolf Nureyev, artist Giora Novack, and designer Ward Bennett.
  • Alpern is the author of nine previous books on Manhattan’s architecture.

and there is a pretty good long illustrated article about it on Hyperallergic

Read up:


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