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Thursday, February 11, 2016

Postcard Thursday: Historic Living in NYC

courtesy of the New York Public Library
Today's image shows the Dakota Apartments, ca. 1890, when the Upper West Side was first becoming a significant residential neighborhood. When the building had opened six years earlier, it stood the notion of apartment-living on its head. Prior to this point, bachelors and immigrants might live in hotels and tenements, but the idea of a luxury apartment building was unheard of.

As James writes in today's issue of the New York Post:
the cornerstone was laid for the Dakota at 1 W. 72nd St. in 1880, spurring a revolution in luxury living. The developer, Edward Clark, had the bad habit of selling apartments before they were finished, which sent architect Henry Hardenbergh scrambling to revise his blueprints during construction. As a result, according to Stephen Birmingham’s book “Life at the Dakota,” spaces ended up as small as four rooms and as large as twenty. Currently, there’s an 11-room apartment — complete with seven working fireplaces — on the market for $15.5 million. That’s for a space without Central Park views.
You can read James's entire article about what it's like to live in a historic New York building on the Post's website at

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