By Claudine Zap
The legendary John Lennon of the Beatles loved the anonymity of New York City and kept a residence in the iconic Dakota building on Manhattan’s Upper West Side before his untimely death.
Prior to settling down in the Dakota for good, he had a brief stopover at a posh penthouse in Manhattan. Now, a penthouse in the building where Lennon held a rental unit has come on the market for $5.5 million.
The rock star stayed in the East Side building in the mid-1970s, living with May Pang, while he was estranged from his wife, Yoko Ono, who remained at the Dakota.
Here’s the mysterious part. The penthouse where Lennon and Pang lived doesn’t exist in its current form, having been reconfigured and renovated in the decades since.
What’s known is that Lennon lived in the building for a time. Since then, the couple’s one-time lair has been reconfigured into parts of two separate penthouse units, so it’s possible Lennon lived in parts of both. Only one penthouse is for sale.
The time he spent sorting out his life in the mid-1970s was dubbed his “lost weekend.” A photographer documented him at the time in some famous black-and-white portraits.
“John was back in New York, sobering up, cleaning his life up,” Bob Gruen, the photographer who snapped the rooftop shots, recalled for New York Magazine.
“He loved it when people treated him like a normal person rather than a Beatle, and that could happen here.”
You can watch Lennon point out the place where he claims to have spotted a UFO from the roof.
Pang wrote about her memories of the building where she lived some 45 years earlier, after visiting the apartments.
“What I will say is both apartments gave me the river view that I had back then,” Pang posted on her blog this month.
“This is where John would sit for hours watching the boats go by, listening to the traffic below, and hear the helicopters fly by. This is also where John and I saw the UFO.”
A new owner can while the time away on the terrace searching the skies for UFOs, or simply enjoy the view while listening to “Rubber Soul.”
The opulent triplex penthouse spans 4,000 square feet overlooking the East River. Offering New York City and river views, the landscaped, 2,000-square-foot wraparound terrace can be accessed from every room on the main floor.
The spacious layout includes four bedrooms, four bathrooms, and a total of 10 rooms on three floors.
Dating to 1929, the unit combines modern design with period elements and such details as inlaid hardwood flooring, high ceilings, wood-burning fireplaces, and picture windows that frame picturesque cityscapes.
A main floor includes a library and media room, as well as a bedroom or home office.
The generous “French countryside”-style, eat-in kitchen includes high-end appliances and plentiful counter space and storage. The formal dining room has a fireplace and can seat 20.
A staircase leads to the upper level, with a sitting room, master bedroom with 14-foot ceilings and wood-burning fireplace, two en suite baths, and river views. The floor also features a two-level dressing room with a rotating closet system.
The lower level has a self-contained, one-bedroom apartment with a large living room, fireplace, bedroom, full bathroom, and kitchen. It can be accessed by internal stairs or by a separate entrance, perfect for extended family, for a separate work-from-home space, or for guest quarters.
Designed by the renowned architect Emery Roth, the pet-friendly co-op building features full-time door attendants and landscaped gardens on a quiet cul-de-sac. The location is close to the cultural destinations, dining, and shopping of the Upper East Side.
Recently, another surprise piece of Lennon’s real estate history popped up in sunny Palm Beach, FL. The waterfront property briefly owned by Lennon and Ono had bounced back onto the market for $47.5 million. It’s currently in pending sale status.
Lauren Cangiano, Alisha Lloyd-Hudson, and Daniel Jayson—all with Brown Harris Stevens—hold the listing.