A History of the World's Best-Known Apartment Building
150 color illustrations, 20 b/w illustrations
Publication date: 07/01/2015
|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.
Editorial ReviewsThe New Republic :
"Andrew Alpern, a lawyer turned architectural historian, has written a book for the outsider who longs to gain access to the marble halls of the inside...its pages are consecrated to details that allow the reader to reconstruct the Dakota from its foundation to its roof terrace in his or her imagination."Bloomberg News:
"The list of features included in historian Andrew Alpern's book, The Dakota: A History of the World's Best-Known Apartment Building, would make the average New Yorker weep: tennis courts, marble staircases, oak- and mahogany-paneled dining rooms, 14-foot ceilings, ornate fireplaces, and, of course, those Central Park views. The book is loaded with original floor plans, historic images of the interiors, and profiles of the building's many notable residents through the years."Untapped Cities:
"The Dakota: A History of the World's Best-Known Apartment Building is a historical and architectural history, deliberately eschewing the gossip that could easily fill the pages of a book with such a name. "Brick Underground :
"The Dakota is a serious, but equally compelling, book that chronicles all about the nuts and bolts of how the building at 1 West 72nd Street came about: its construction; how it changed the face of Manhattan's Upper West Side and its renovations over the years."