The glitz and glamour of old Hollywood was present in Manhattan throughout the 20th century. From silver screen siren Lauren Bacall’s life at The Dakota to the handsome Cary Grant’s lengthy 12-year stay at The Warwick Hotel, the city has long been home to the illustrious stars of yesteryear.
The Dakota – 1 West 72nd Street
The well-known Dakota building, situated on the corner of West 72nd Street and Central Park West, has often attracted some of the world’s most celebrated figures. America’s musical sweetheart, Judy Garland, lived at The Dakota in early 1961. Garland famously starred in The Wizard of Oz (1939) and Meet Me in St. Louis (1944). In the early 1960’s, screen siren and native New Yorker, Lauren Bacall, purchased an apartment in The Dakota for $48,000. Bacall was the sultry, husky-voiced widow of Hollywood legend Humphrey Bogart. The couple met in Hollywood years before on the set of To Have and To Have Not (1944). Bacall reestablished herself on New York’s Upper West Side following Bogart’s death in the late 1950’s and famously resided at The Dakota until her death on August 12, 2014. Bacall’s property at The Dakota has since been appraised at $9 million.
The Manhattan House – 200 East 66th Street
In the early 1950’s, The Manhattan House located at 200 East 66th Street, became the residence of future royalty. The elegant and charming Grace Kelly signed a 7-year contract with MGM in 1952 under the condition that she be able to live part-time in New York City. At this point, the future Princess Grace of Monaco was at the peak of her Hollywood stardom. A favorite of the “Master of Suspense”, Alfred Hitchcock, Kelly starred in some of his most notable films including To Catch a Thief (1955), Dial M for Murder (1954), and Rear Window (1954). The white brick construction of the Manhattan House is composed of 584 units across five twenty-story towers. The buildings were supposedly built with the help of Kelly’s father, a wealthy contractor from Philadelphia.
The Beresford – 211 Central Park West
Majestically situated on Central Park West, The Beresford was once home to movie star Rock Hudson. The Beresford is the craft of architect Emery Roth, who also designed other popular Central Park West dwellings including The El Dorado and The San Remo. Hudson rose to fame through his series of films alongside Hollywood’s girl-next-door, Doris Day. Together, the pair starred in countless romantic comedies including Lover Come Back (1959) and Pillow Talk (1961). The Beresford was Hudson’s home away from Hollywood and the contents of his abode were auctioned following his death in 1985. Film fanatics fought over some of Hudson’s most prized possessions, including a small stool Elizabeth Taylor used to reach the bathroom sink when she stayed at The Beresford with Hudson in 1981. Taylor supposedly wrote a message on the stool in lavender ink: "E.T. stood here (she had to because she couldn't reach the sink) R.H. is a love, and I thank him always –even though he is one foot taller. Your always friend, Elizabeth." Taylor and Hudson starred together in Giant (1956) alongside James Dean.
The San Remo – 145 Central Park West
Another architectural gem of Emery Roth is The San Remo, which stands proudly on the periphery of Central Park. The San Remo is a 27-floor co-op building that was once home to Rita Hayworth. The film star and glamour girl spent her final years in an apartment at The San Remo alongside her daughter, Princess Yasmin Khan. The pinnacle of Hayworth’s Hollywood career included celebrated roles in Gilda (1946) and The Lady from Shanghai (1947).
The Warwick Hotel – 65 West 54th Street
The prestigious Warwick Hotel stands on the corner of 6th Avenue and West 54th Street and William Randolph Hearst spent $5 million to build the hotel in 1926. Hearst built the hotel to provide lodging for his Hollywood friends during their extended stays in New York. The Warwick continued to cater to celebrities and saw the likes of many stars including Elizabeth Taylor, James Dean, Jane Russell, and Elvis Presley. When a group of young musicians from Liverpool first came to the United States in 1964, they also resided at The Warwick. Legendary Hollywood actor Cary Grant lived at the Warwick Hotel for over a decade. His suite is still available to hotel patrons today and is dubbed the “Suite of the Stars”. Grant was famous for his quintessential good looks and distinct transatlantic brogue. He hailed from Bristol, England and was well-known for his portrayals in Alfred Hitchcock’s classic thrillers North by Northwest (1959) and Notorious (1946).
The Royal York – 425 East 63rd Street
Built in 1956, The Royal York is a two-building development composed of 13 floors and 496 apartments. Located in the Lenox Hill area of Manhattan’s Upper East Side, The Royal York was once home to Myrna Loy. Miss Loy was nicknamed “The Queen of the Movies” in the 1930’s and she resided at The Royal York for several decades until her death in 1993. The silver screen actress is most noted for her performance as Nora Charles in the comedy-mystery series, The Thin Man alongside actor William Powell. Loy also famously starred in the touching post-war film, The Best Years of Our Lives (1946), with Fredric March.