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9 Cool Facts About NYC’s Exclusive Dakota Apartment Building

Did you ever read The Hard Way by Lee Child? Lee Child is not only my friend but also one of my favorite authors, so of course I’ve read The Hard Way, his 2009 release, multiple times. Especially because the book is the source material for my upcoming Hunt for Jack Reacher Thriller, Jack the Reaper.

If you’ve read The Hard Way (and if you haven’t, I highly recommend it!!), you’ll remember that some of the action revolves around The Dakota.

The Dakota NYC

© Elisa Rolle

Business Insider describes The Dakota as “one of Manhattan’s most mysterious and exclusive residences.” I was at The Dakota just last month, and I can attest to its larger-than-life vibe.

The Dakota dates back to 1884 and sits at the corner of 72nd Street and Central Park West. It’s been home to oodles of celebrities, including, of course, John Lennon who was tragically shot just outside. HIs widow, Yoko Ono, still lives there. She recently celebrated her 84th birthday!

Here are nine interesting facts you may not know about The Dakota:

  1. The following celebrities are just some who lived or are believed to have lived there: Peter Tchaikovsky, Lauren Bacall, Rosemary Clooney, Judy Garland, John Madden, Yoko Ono, Gilda Radner. These days, my friend and thriller author extraordinaire Harlan Coben lives there, too.
  2. The following celebrities were reportedly denied residency at The Dakota: Billy Joel, Madonna, Gene Simmons, Alex Rodriguez, Carly Simon, Antonio Banderas, and Cher. The co-cop board of The Dakota is famously picky about whose applications are accepted.
  3. John Lennon said he witnessed a ghost of a woman crying at the Dakota.
  4. After his death, Yoko Ono said she saw John Lennon’s ghost sitting at his white piano.
  5. The architect slathered mud from Central Park between the layers of the building in order to make it both soundproof and fireproof without having to use fire escapes.
  6. The entrance is large enough for horse-drawn carriages to come and go.
  7. Historians believe it was named The Dakota because, at the time it was built, it was so far north and so far west of the center of Manhattan that it might as well have been in North or South Dakota!
  8. The former apartment of the original owner has sterling silver floors.
  9. For the first 45 years after The Dakota was built, there wasn’t a single vacancy in any of its 65 apartments.

A building with such a rich history is just asking to be included in a book, don’t you think? I can’t blame Lee Child for making The Dakota a part of The Hard Way. And, of course that means The Dakota features prominently in Jack the Reaper, too.

What building would you love to see included in one of my upcoming books? Leave a comment and let me know — I’m always open to suggestions!

Meanwhile --


Caffeinate and Carry On!



p.s. Would a little extra cash in your budget make a difference? We might be able to help with that. Are you a member of the Diane Capri Crowd NewsFlash! mailing list? Just CLICK HERE to complete the form and refer your friends, too. Can't wait to see you there!


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One Response to 9 Cool Facts About NYC’s Exclusive Dakota Apartment Building

  1. Lynn M. Richardson August 22, 2017 at 3:23 am #

    HI Diane,
    I was SUPRISED to learn that ” ROSEMARYS’ BABY” was filmed at The Dakota… As you may imagine, everyone involved in the making of the film was completely exhausted by the time the filming was finished..& edgy to boot.
    I’m positive one of your BRILLIANT Capristers will be able to “flesh out” the story (very bad pun) ❤❤
    Cheers, .
    Lynn Richardson ☕

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