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The Dakota


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About the Author

Andrew Alpern is an architectural historian, architect, and attorney who has known the Dakota since his childhood in the neighborhood. He is the preeminent expert on historic apartment houses in New York, with nine prior books, five of which tell stories of New York's architectural assets and the people behind them. Alpern has also written scores of articles about historical architecture and particular buildings. He has written dozens of book reviews, more than 85 of his Letters to the Editor have been published, and he is regularly quoted in print. His donations of two major collections to the Columbia University Libraries resulted in a block-buster exhibition of his 50-year archive of the work of writer/artist Edward Gorey and the first-ever scholarly catalogue of his collection of over 300 years of architectural drawing instruments, which have been made obsolete by computer drafting. Since 2002 Alpern has served as general counsel and chief compliance officer for an SEC-registered investment adviser firm. He has been a resident of Manhattan since 1938.


"Andrew Alpern, a lawyer turned architectural historian, has written a book for the outsider who longs to gain access to the marble halls of the inside...its pages are consecrated to details that allow the reader to reconstruct the Dakota from its foundation to its roof terrace in his or her imagination." - The New Republic
"The list of features included in historian Andrew Alpern's book, 'The Dakota: A History of the Worlds Best-Known Apartment Building, would make the average New Yorker weep: tennis courts, marble staircases, oak- and mahogany-paneled dining rooms, 14-foot ceilings, ornate fireplaces, and, of course, those Central Park views. The book is loaded with original floor plans, historic images of the interiors, and profiles of the building's many notable residents through the years." - Bloomberg
"The Dakota: A History of the World's Best-Known Apartment Building is a historical and architectural history, deliberately eschewing the gossip that could easily fill the pages of a book with such a name." - Untapped Cities
"The Dakota is a serious, but equally compelling, book that chronicles all about the nuts and bolts of how the building at 1 West 72nd Street came about: its construction; how it changed the face of Manhattan's Upper West Side and its renovations over the years." - Brick Underground

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