Impressive buildings stand sentinel along Central Park West (CPW), the extension of 8th Avenue that borders Central Park . Most famous among them is the Dakota (northwest corner of 72nd St. and CPW). Built in 1884, the Dakota was financed by Edward Clark, heir to the Singer Sewing Machine fortune.
At that time, the building stood so far north of the rest of Manhattan  that it was said to be as remote as Dakota. Clark liked that idea, and had the architect, add ears of corn and an Indian’s head above the entrance.
The Dakota’s roster of famous tenants is exceptionally long; on it are Lauren Bacall, Judy Holliday, Jack Palance, Roberta Flack, Fannie Hurst, Jose Ferrer, Rosemary Clooney, John Lennon (who was murdered outside the Dakota), Yoko Ono, Gilda Radner, and William Henry Pratt, a.k.a. Boris Karloff.