When the Dakota Building was constructed in the 1800s in Manhattan, it stood on its own in an isolated position. Now it is surrounded by high rise buildings. Today it’s a place of pilgrimage for John Lennon fans as it’s the place where he lived in his latter years and where he was murdered in 1980.
It was purpose-built as a cooperative of apartments and in its history has housed many celebrities such as Lauren Bacall, Judy Garland and Boris Karloff. For every famous person who has lived there, others have been rejected by the board including Carly Simon, Billy Joel and Gene Simmons.
As you can see the building was very well known before it became known throughout the world as the place where John Lennon was shot – this took place outside the south entrance to the extravagant apartment block.
But to me there’s an equally creepy reason for visiting the Dakota. The building was used for the iconic 1960s horror film, Rosemary’s Baby.
ROSEMARY’S BABY: IRA LEVIN
The film was based on the book by Ira Levin. The author had lived in buildings similar to the Dakota and it was this that helped to inspire him to write the novel about the apartment building with the spooky past and equally evil present.
The Dakota was used for the interior shots in the movie; the building was known in the film as ‘The Bramford’. In the novel, and the film, the building was seen as having had a very gruesome past.
HOW TO FIND THE DAKOTA AND OTHER PLACES OF INTEREST
Time and Life Building
Time and Life Building
On the map above, you’ll find the following locations:
- The Dakota where Rosemary’s Baby was filmed (exterior shots only) and where John Lennon was murdered
- Time and Life Building where in the film, Rosemary had an appointment with her friend who had urgent information. This friend didn’t show up because he was murdered by the coven
- Alwyn Court. The writer of Rosemary’s Baby, Ira Levin, lived in an apartment here which as similar to the Dakota. It’s said this it inspired the book
- The Osbourne Building. Ira Levin lived here also as did actor Gig Young. Young murdered his wife in 1978 then turned the gun on himself
- Central Park. This is the location of Strawberry Fields, the memorial to John Lennon
JJ is originally from the UK and has lived in South Florida since 1994. She is the founder and editor of JAQUO Magazine. You can connect with her using the social media icons below.