Many Beatles fans hated Yoko Ono for breaking something up, but the co-op board at the Dakota hated her for putting something together: a five-unit megaspread in the iconic building. It's been 30 years since John Lennon was shot and killed outside the Central Park West landmark where he lived, and the NYT's Christine Haughney has an interesting piece today focusing on John and Yoko's private lives within the walls of the famed Upper West Side co-op. In 1973 the couple moved to the Dakota from their Bank Street loft because, irony alert, they wanted a home with better security. Their first apartment in the building was bought from the actor Robert Ryan, and once they made it past the dream-crushing co-op board, they started renovating because Lennon wanted a more open space similar to the downtown artists' lofts he left behind. Then came the buying spree.
The Beatle and his controversial bride ended up claiming two apartments on the seventh floor and three more elsewhere in the building, used for storage, a work studio and a guest apartment. According to neighbor Paul Goldberger (yep, the architecture critic), "There was a little bit of resentment built up against Yoko, more because she kept trying to buy more apartments. I think people didn't dare get mad at John Lennon, so she bore the brunt of any resentment." Poor Yoko! But no hard feelings, we guess, because she still lives in the building after all these years.
The Lennon portfolio has been downsized a bit, however. In 2008, the couple's former storage unit traded hands for $801,000. And the Dakota residents seem to have forgiven Yoko Ono for her appetite for square footage. Or they're just jealous. Ono's neighbor, singer Roberta Flack, tells the Times she wishes she had pulled a ballad of John and Yoko of her own and bought more apartments back when they were cheaper. Units in the Dakota have sold for $11.5 million and $13 million this year.
· Sharing the Dakota With John Lennon [NYT]
· The Dakota coverage [Curbed]