The Dakota Building, a striking structure located at 1 72nd Street in New York City and west of Central Park, is not only known for hosting celebrities and serving as the scene of the tragic death of the late John Lennon but also has a dark history and a halo of mystery surrounding it.
Dakota Building — New York Urban Legends
Construction of the building began in 1880 and was completed four years later. It was created by Henry Hardenberg, the architect responsible for the Plaza Hotel, and was largely financed by Edward S. Clark, the founder of Singer sewing machines.
The layout of the floors is modeled on late 19th-century French architecture, and its design is typical of the North German Renaissance Revival.
Singer’s name comes from the fact that, when it was built, it looked like it was in Dakota (in the northern United States, on the Canadian border), although it was so far from the city that electricity did not even reach it.
However, the fact that it was far away and shrouded in obscurity did not prevent it from being successful and fully leased.
Then, as Manhattan rapidly grew northward, prices skyrocketed, giving the building a sense of exclusivity. Notables such as Judy Garland, Boris Karloff, Leonard Bernstein, and Lauren Bacall began living there.
Dakota Building celebrity residences
The Dakota Building is home to famous singers. Famous singers such as John Lennon, whose widow Yoko Ono still lives there, Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony, Bono and his activist wife Ali Hewson, Sting, Paul Simon, and Roberta Flack have lived there.
Strange things have always happened within its walls, even though it gained worldwide fame for the murder of John Lennon at its entrance.
Renowned black magician Aleister Crowley resided in the Dakota Building in the early 20th century. Crowley considered one of the most repulsive men in history, performed various black magic rituals there.
Boris Karloff, who starred in numerous horror films, resided there at the time and attended impressive spiritualist meetings.
When Karloff passed away, it is said that poltergeist phenomena occurred and that his person manifested itself in the building as a ghostly presence, which was seen and heard by several tenants who fled the building in terror.
Gerald Brosseau Gardner, the high priest of English Wicca, is said to have stayed in this building during his visit to New York. There he performed magical rituals, invoking the supernatural forces of nature.
Polanski was inspired by this character in 1968 to shape the features of the evil sorcerer co-starring in the film Rosemary’s Baby.
Although only the film’s exteriors were shot on location, a series of bizarre accidents during filming at the Dakota Building decimated the crew. Star Mia Farrow’s nervous breakdown and her breakup with Frank Sinatra occurred in this building.
The Dakota became known thanks to the movie
The building’s mystical and occult associations came to light in the media. Practitioners of black magic and satanic sects gathered in front of the Dakota building to intimidate Polanski and his cast and prevent the film from shooting.
Charles Manson, who later turned the threats into reality along with other members of his cult, was one of these people.
They carried out the Hollywood Massacre on Cielo Drive, where they killed several people, including Polanski’s wife Sharon Tate, and their unborn child, who was stabbed with a fork.
Tom Cruise’s American remake of “Open Your Eyes”, “Vanilla Sky”, was the last film to be shot there, and actor Alec Baldwin was the last to buy an apartment for the “modest” sum of more than 8 million euros.
However, living there requires not only money but also the approval of the other residents, an obstacle that neither Antonio Banderas nor Melanie Griffith was able to overcome in 2005.
With information from noticiaaldia.com