Artist Yoko Ono Departs New York City For Catskills Retreat

Dakota Building New York © Artlyst

The Artist Yoko Ono, who turned 90 earlier this year, has decided to leave her New York City Upper West Side residence in the Dakota Building, opting for a more rural existence in the Catskills. The Manhattan property was the scene of her late husband John Lennon’s murder in 1980 and has always resonated with mythical status. 

“New York is like an old friend. It has its moods, “But I know them all.” – Yoko Ono

The nonagenarian will mount a major retrospective exhibition in the UK at Tate Modern next year. Yoko Ono is a leading figure in conceptual and performance art, experimental film and music. Developing her practice in America, Japan and the UK, Ono is renowned for her activism, work for world peace, and environmental campaigns for over six decades. Her Tate exhibition will include early performances, works on paper, objects, and music, as well as her activist projects such as PEACE IS POWER and Wish Tree.

Yoko Ono Dakota Building

The Dakota Building is one of New York City’s most iconic and historically significant residential buildings. Located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan at 1 West 72nd Street, the Dakota was constructed between 1880 and 1884. It was designed by the renowned architect Henry J. Hardenbergh, who also designed the Plaza Hotel.

Edward Clark, a wealthy businessman and Singer Sewing Machine Company president commissioned the Dakota. He wanted to create a luxurious apartment building that would attract affluent residents. The building was designed in the German Renaissance Revival style, featuring red-brick construction, intricate ornamentation, and a distinctive corner pavilion with a copper roof.

Name Origins: The name “Dakota” was chosen because, at its construction, the Upper West Side of Manhattan was considered remote and sparsely populated, much like the Dakota Territory in the American West.

When it opened in 1884, the Dakota was known for its opulence and state-of-the-art amenities, such as steam-powered elevators, central heating, and electricity – all considered cutting-edge technologies at the time. The building had 65 apartments, some of the city’s largest and most luxurious.

Over the years, the Dakota has been home to numerous famous residents, including notable figures from the arts, literature, and entertainment industries.

The Dakota is considered a landmark of architectural history. Its ostentatious, costly and luxurious design has rarely been replicated. The building pioneered the concept of cooperative apartment living in New York City. Its success led to the construction of other prestigious apartment buildings in Manhattan.

In 1969, the Dakota was designated as a New York City Landmark, ensuring its preservation and protection from significant alterations. The building’s exterior, including its distinctive ornate facade and wrought-iron entrance gates, has remained essentially unchanged since its construction.

The apartment block’s status and historical significance have made it a popular location for films, TV shows, and literature. Its recognisable appearance has been featured in movies including “Rosemary’s Baby” and “Hannah and Her Sisters.” It also serves as the fictional home for various characters in literature and television.

Today, the Dakota remains a symbol of luxury and elegance in New York City. It continues to be a highly desirable address for those seeking a piece of the city’s architectural and cultural legacy.


Artlyst would like to issue a correction and apologise for stating in error that Yoko Ono was selling her New York Apartment in the Dakota Building. She is not. Her lawyers have written to us with the following statement; “The NY Times article states there is currently one apartment for sale in the Dakota – but it is not Mrs. Lennon’s apartment and the article did not state Mrs. Lennon’s apartment is for sale. –  Again, we do apologise for this error – PC Robinson Artlyst editor.

Top Photo: Charlotte Robinson © Artlyst 2023

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