5 Historic Buildings on the Upper West Side

  Last modified on January 16th, 2023

Buildings rich in history aren’t hard to find on the UWS. Maybe you’re reading because you’re a big architecture buff. Or perhaps you’re just hoping your search for Upper West Side apartments lands you in one of these famous buildings. Either way, you’ll want to keep reading! Without enough time to include every historic building in the neighborhood, here are five of the most iconic that really stand out.

The Dakota

1 West 72nd Street

Historic Buildings on the Upper West Side

The Dakota is one of the most prestigious co-ops on the Upper West Side and one of the most historic in all of Manhattan. The Dakota was made famous as the former home of John Lennon and subsequently, the place of his murder.

On the corner of 72nd and Central Park West, the Dakota was designed by Henry Hardenbergh (who also designed the Plaza Hotel and tons of brownstones in NYC). It was constructed with brick and sandstone walls between 1880 and 1884.

The architecture featuring terracotta panels and balconies is that of the North German Renaissance style. The interior and floor plan of the Dakota were influenced by French architectural styles popular in NYC in the late 1800s.

The Dakota became a New York City Landmark in 1969. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972 and designated a National Historic Landmark in 1976.

Read More: Famous Former Residents of The Dakota


The Dorilton

171 West 71st Street

Historic Buildings on the Upper West Side

The Dorilton is one of the Upper West Side’s most visually stunning apartment buildings. Constructed between 1900 and 1902, the building features a limestone and brick exterior with sculpted figures reminiscent of those in front of French palaces.

The Dorilton features a beautiful three-story mansard roof that was restored in 1998 with the rest of the building’s exterior. The building was named a New York City Landmark in 1974. It was first listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.

The Ansonia

2109 Broadway

Historic Buildings on the Upper West Side

Originally built as an Upper West Side hotel between 1899 and 1904, the Ansonia was later converted into condominiums. It has been featured in many Hollywood films and served as the home of famous composer Igor Stravinsky. It was also the first home of Babe Ruth when he was traded to the New York Yankees in 1919.

Beautiful inside and out, the Ansonia features Beaux-Arts architecture with round-corner towers. One of the most striking features of the Ansonia is the substantial domed skylight sitting above a spiraling staircase. The building was the first air-conditioned hotel in New York and features some of the widest hallways in the city. The Ansonia was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.

Read More: 3 Facts Proving The Ansonia is Absolutely Legendary


The San Remo

145-146 Central Park West

The San Remo on the Upper West Side

Apartments from the San Remo feature some of the best views of Central Park you’ll find. Originally built as an apartment building between 1929 and 1931, it was converted to a co-op in the 1970s. Over the years and still today, many celebrities have chosen the San Remo as their home. These include Steven Spielberg, Dustin Hoffman, Tiger Woods, Demi Moore, Bruce Willis and Bono.

The building was originally constructed in Beaux-Arts style, with marble walls and terrazzo floors. The top floor of each tower features an English Baroque mansion below a Choragic Monument of Lysicrates. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.

Read More: My Six Favorite Buildings on Central Park West

The Apthorp

390 West End Avenue


photo credit: @juanfreire212

The Apthorp was built around a central courtyard between 1906 and 1908 as the largest apartment building in the city. The Italian Renaissance Revival styled Apthorp sits on the corner of West 79th Street and Broadway. Aside from the central courtyard, the Apthorp may best be known for its large iron gates decorated with gazelle heads that guard the front entrance of the building.

Each apartment in the Apthorp was uniquely designed, which is not a common trait. Some famous residents have included Rosie O’Donnell, Al Pacino, Conan O’Brien and Nora Ephron. The Apthorp was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.

Watch: An Extended Applause in the Apthorp Courtyard

Sharing is caring!