With the wealth of new residential towers sprouting across Manhattan and designed by some of the world’s leading stararchitects, there is one building, which still captures the imagination of all architectural lovers and visitors to the Big Apple. I am talking about the Dakota, which served as the set of Rosemarys’ Baby (below) and the place where John Lennon was murdered. Built in the 1880s, and designed by Henry Hardenbergh, who had later become known for the Plaza and the Waldorf-Astoria, it was among the earlier residential buildings in the Upper West Side (above shortly after its completion). Now, a book by Andrew Alpern “The Dakota: A History of the World’s Best-Known Apartment Building,” published by Princeton Architectural Press, comes to shed light on its famed and somewhat mysterious biography. When I first visited at the Dakota, at the dazzling home of two collectors of American Arts and Crafts, I almost dropped to my knees. The oak and mahogany-paneled living spaces, the spacious rooms, the breathtaking view of the park, and of course the art and design, all contemporary to the building, have made it into one of the most beautiful apartments I have ever seen. Its allure has further been emphasized with its famous residents, including Lauren Bacall, Rudolf Nureyev, Leonard Bernstein, and John Lennon. Here are some vintage images of the building and its famous residents.