The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel‘s five-season reign is officially over, and everything’s coming up Midge. Our favorite leading lady became a comedic icon, maintained her LOL-worthy friendship with Susie, and became Yoko Ono’s neighbor with her lavish, Upper West Side apartment at the Dakota. Or, wait…isn’t that the Ansonia? The internet been’s buzzing about where exactly the marvelous Mrs. Maisel lives: The Ono reference implies that she’s a resident of the Dakota, where John Lennon and Yoko Ono lived, and where he, tragically, was killed. But Midge’s apartment itself looks an awful lot like the Ansonia, another luxe complex in the neighborhood. (The show’s creators recently settled the debate once and for all and revealed Midge’s abode is a fictional mashup of the two called “the Dansonia.”)
If the name Ansonia sounds familiar, you might be thinking about the Arconia, the sleuth setting of Only Murders in the Building. (Though the Arconia looks a lot like the Ansonia, the Hulu show actually uses the Upper West Side building called the Belnord.) But with all this talk about the Dakota and the Ansonia, we couldn’t help but wonder which Upper West Side digs loom larger in pop culture. Buckle up, because we’re taking you on a crash course in fictional real-estate.
For many Beatles fans, the Dakota unfortunately needs no introduction. On December 8, 1980, John Lennon was tragically murdered right in front of the 72nd Street complex. (Up until recently, his wife Yoko Ono continued to live in the Dakota.)
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Of course, there’s more to the Upper West Side residence than this tragic story. Built in 1884, the 65-unit building has housed a handful of famous faces including Judy Garland and Lauren Bacall. In fact, the application process for this co-op is so strict, other celebrities, including Madonna and Billy Joel, were famously rejected. The Dakota itself is, you might say, something of a celebrity; the historic building has been featured in movies such as Rosemary’s Baby, Vanilla Sky, and New York, I Love You.
Most of us will have to settle for seeing the inside of a Dakota apartment only in the movies, as few un-famous folks can afford to move in. According to CityRealty, the property is valued at $1,875 per square foot. (Since a 1,450-square-foot apartment in the Dakota is on the smaller side, we’ll let you do the math here.)
Only Murders in the Building might’ve been filmed at the Belnord, but the Arconia bears an uncanny resemblance to the Ansonia, and not just in their names. Opened in 1904, the Ansonia was considered “the grandest hotel in Manhattan”—complete with 1,400 rooms, the largest indoor pool, and, yes, plenty of scandal. (Owner William Earl Dodge Stokes was a tabloid favorite for his multiple marriages, infidelities, and fights. He even suffered from a gunshot wound during a particularly heated lover’s quarrel, which sounds like a plot twist in the TV show itself.)
The Ansonia went through some major changes after Stokes relinquished his power: The units’ layouts were altered to accommodate a more modest lifestyle, it operated illegally as a hotel in the 1960s, and it eventually fell into disrepair. Fortunately, the Ansonia was declared a local landmark, renovated, and is currently enjoying a renaissance. Nowadays, the upscale residence has 462 units, valued at a minimum of $1,181 per square foot. Throughout the Ansonia’s rollercoaster history, it’s had its fair share of pop culture moments. Not only did it house athletes like Babe Ruth and Jack Dempsey, it also made a cameo in Three Days of the Condor.
Make no mistake, both apartment buildings are downright iconic. (We’d definitely live in either luxe residence, twist our arm!) However, when it comes to its place in pop culture, the Dakota is a clear front-runner. Not only has it had more screen time, but you simply can’t beat its A-List residents. (Even its list of rejected applicants adds to the Dakota’s lavish lore.)
If you can’t get enough of New York City’s television presence—we don’t blame you—check out these show-stopping spaces that have made their small screen debut.