The Dakota circa the 1890s

The Dakota may be best known as the New York apartment building where John Lennon lived and died (and the place Yoko Ono still calls home)—however, it had a long history before the former Beatle moved in. The building was constructed between October 25, 1880 and October 27, 1884 at 72nd Street and Central Park West, and was designed by the architectural firm of Henry Janeway Hardenbergh (who also designed The Plaza Hotel). It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1972, and designated a landmark on December 8th, 1976.

Allegedly the Dakota was named such because "at the time it was built, the Upper West Side of Manhattan was sparsely inhabited and considered as remote as the Dakota Territory." Whether or not that's true, it's fitting—as you can see in the above photo, when doors opened it stood across from a not yet landscaped stretch of Central Park (an area that, at the time, was home to farm animals and squatters!).