Although Los Angeles may get all the credit for being a hotbed of celebs, New York City is nothing to scoff at. Celebrities and beautiful residential buildings seem to go hand-in-hand in Manhattan. In fact, it’s basically a New York rule that every dazzling historic building has, at one point, had someone famous residing there. From downtown to the Upper West Side
, these 12 residential buildings have borne witness to an incredible amount of New York history. Ah, to be a fly on the wall in one of these apartments…
This stunning condo building feels a bit like Paris and New York’s love child. The magnificent structure, built in 1899, is located on Broadway, not too far from Central Park. The building was first a hotel that became famous for having a farm on the roof, complete with chickens. Since then, it’s been home to Igor Stravinsky, Arturo Toscanini, Natalie Portman, Babe Ruth and Angelina Jolie, just to name a few.
The Ansonia, 2109 Broadway, New York, NY 10023, USA, +1 212-877-9800
My favorite NYC building that I have the pleasure of seeing almost every day…. 1. It once had a farm on the roof. 2. Housed/ houses some of the most gifted people on earth. The Ansonia is a building on the Upper West Side of New York City Stokes established a small farm on the roof of the hotel. Stokes had a Utopian vision for the Ansonia—that it could be self-sufficient, or at least contribute to its own support—which led to perhaps the strangest New York apartment amenity ever. "The farm on the roof," Weddie Stokes wrote years later, "included about 500 chickens, many ducks, about six goats and a small bear." Every day, a bellhop delivered free fresh eggs to all the tenants, and any surplus was sold cheaply to the public in the basement arcade. Not much about this feature charmed the city fathers, however, and in 1907, the Department of Health shut down the farm in the sky. #ansonia #beautiful #architecture #nyc #checkitout
The Dakota is famous for many reasons — although none of them are very cheery. It’s most famous for being the last residence of John Lennon, as he was shot right outside. But the building was also featured as the backdrop to Roman Polanski’s 1968 thriller Rosemary’s Baby. Other celebs like Judy Garland, Leonard Bernstein, and Rosemary Clooney all called The Dakota home. However, having a famous name doesn’t guarantee an apartment here — it’s rumored that Billy Joel, Carly Simon, and Gene Simmons were all rejected by the building’s board.
The Dakota, 1 W 72nd St, New York, NY 10023, USA
It’s only really within the past year that the Trump Tower has become one of New York’s most famous addresses. However many other people besides the current U.S. president have called the Fifth Avenue skyscraper home, including Bruce Willis. The building was also featured in The Dark Knight Rises as Wayne Enterprises.
Trump Tower, 725 5th Ave, New York, NY 10022, USA
This building is so beloved by New Yorkers that Nora Ephron wrote an entire essay about it. The building was opened in 1908, originally as a home for newspaperman William Waldorf Astor. Over the past 100 or so years, The Apthorp, with its distinctive interior courtyard, has been home to not only Ephron but Conan O’Brien, George Balanchine, Joseph Heller, Al Pacino, Cindy Lauper, and Rosie O’Donnell.
The Apthorp, 2211 Broadway, New York, NY 10024, USA, +1 212-799-2211
“I remember you well in the Chelsea Hotel,” sings Leonard Cohen in one of his most enduring songs. During the wild ’60s the Chelsea Hotel (since rebranded as the Hotel Chelsea) was home to some of the most famous artists and musicians of the time, including Patti Smith, Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Jack Kerouac, Dylan Thomas and many, many more.
222 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10011, USA, +1 817-567-7735
The Plaza | © Sean Pavone / Shutterstock
The Plaza was made famous by Kay Thompson’s book about a precocious six-year-old named Eloise who would run around the hotel causing mischief and chaos. Today the hotel is a bit more controlled, although it does still have some rambunctious residents taking up court in the apartments. Famous figures like F. Scott Fitzgerald, Marlene Dietrich, and Frank Lloyd Wright all made the hotel their home during its history.
The Plaza, 768 5th Ave, New York, NY 10019, USA, +1 212-759-3000
This address means a lot to New Yorkers but perhaps not much to anyone outside the city. Since 1942, Gracie Mansion on the Upper East Side has been the residence of the mayor. It’s located at the northern end of the picturesque Carl Schurz Park and open to the public for tours.
Gracie Mansion, E 88th St & East End Ave, New York, NY 10028, USA, +1 212-676-3060
The Waldorf Astoria was the place to be during a certain period of New York history. Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe, and even Herbert Hoover all lived here during the mid-20th century. The list of guests who return to the hotel is even more impressive. Since Hoover, every single U.S. president has stayed there, and the list of celebrities is even longer. For modern pop culture fans: Paris Hilton grew up in the Waldorf-Astoria.
Waldorf Astoria and Towers, 301 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10022, USA, +1 212-872-4770
For those in the early 1900s who wanted lavish, decorative apartments, the best address in town was The Osborne. Located on 57th Street, the apartment is recognizable from its elaborate, jaw-dropping lobby. People who have been impressed (and then decided to move in) include Jessica Chastain, Leonard Bernstein, and Charles Osgood.
Osborne Apartment House, 205 W 57th St, New York, NY 10019, USA, +1 212-582-6157
Although many New Yorkers know the iconic double towers of The Eldorado, not many know the history of the building. The Upper West Side Art Deco building underwent foreclosure after the stock market crash of 1929. But it rebounded and remains an iconic view from Central Park. In more recent years, it’s been home to Alec Baldwin, Faye Dunaway, Moby, and Michael J. Fox.
The Eldorado, 300 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024, USA
The Beresford is regarded as one of the most elite addresses in all of New York, and only true New Yorkers are usually able to nab an apartment here. Famous residents include Jerry Seinfeld, Glenn Close, Diana Ross, and Helen Gurley Brown. It was built in 1929 and was renowned at the time for its sweeping views of Central Park.
The Beresford, 211 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024, USA
The San Remo
The San Remo is one of the most lenient historical condominiums on Central Park West. Because of its more lax admissions process, famous New Yorkers have flocked to the building for years. In fact, it may be one of the most star-studded addresses in Manhattan. Since it opened in 1930, the San Remo has been home to Barry Manilow, Bono, Stephen Sondheim, Tiger Woods, Steven Spielberg, Demi Moore, Glenn Close, Dustin Hoffman, Steve Martin, Bruce Willis, Diane Keaton, Hedy Lamarr, and Rita Hayworth. However, looser standards doesn’t mean everybody gets in — Madonna was famously rejected by the building in 1985.
The San Remo, 145 Central Park West, New York, NY 10023, USA, +1 212-877-0300