Central Park West (62nd-96th Streets)

New York’s Central Park and the architecture along Central Park West have a symbiotic relationship – each enhances the other.

There’s no question that a park view multiplies the value and enjoyment of an apartment – and the grand architecture also adds to the views from within the park. (Incidentally, Central Park paths are lighted because Central Park West tenants complained that the unlit park was an unattractive black void in their nighttime views, according to Greensward Foundation’s “The Central Park.”)

The Upper West Side/Central park West Historic District extends from 62nd Street to 96th Street at a depth of from one building at its narrowest to more than two blocks at its widest. Within this area are some cherished New York architectural landmarks: iconic luxury apartment buildings such as the Century, San Remo, Majestic, Eldorado, Dakota and Bereford; several noteworthy places of worship; the American Museum of Natural History; and, along side streets, scores of row houses in brick and brownstone.

Central Park West is almost entirely residential, filled with grand, luxury apartments. The Dakota is preeminent among those residences, and “The Dakota – A History of the World’s Best-Known Apartment Building” is the preeminent history of this Central Park West icon. Noted architectural historian Andrew Alpern documents the building, its builder (and family!), the architect, the neighborhood, the architectural and historical context, and even the Dakota’s residents. Fascinating reading that illuminates not only The Dakota, but also the world of apartment living in New York City. I’m honored that he chose photos from the Dakota Apartments gallery to help illustrate the volume.

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