John Lennon would have turned 75 years old today. Born on October 9, 1940, the singer and songwriter rose to fame thanks to his songwriting partnership with Paul McCartney in the Beatles, along with solo work on songs like “Imagine.”
To celebrate the legend and his contributions to the Big Apple, the New York Public Library, which hosted a successful Beatles exhibition last year, has created an interactive map of “John Lennon’s New York City.” Mr. Lennon lived in New York from 1971 until his death in 1980.
The map’s name is somewhat misleading (all of the landmarks are in Manhattan), but it still creates a compelling portrait of the places that shaped Mr. Lennon’s life in New York.
The notable landmarks on the list include:
- The St. Regis Hotel, where Mr. Lennon and Yoko Ono first lived when they moved to the city.
- The Hit Factory, where Mr. Lennon and Ms. Ono collaborated on their album Double Fantasy. The building is now a home remodeling store.
- Smith’s Bar, where Mr. Lennon often stopped for burgers and beer. Despite facing the threat of closure last year, the bar is still alive and well.
- The Apollo Theater, where Mr. Lennon and Ms. Ono performed on December 17, 1971.
- Madison Square Garden, where Mr. Lennon performed with Elton John on November 28, 1974.
- The United Nations: In one of the weirder stories from Mr. Lennon’s canon, he claimed he saw a UFO “go down the river and turn right at” the UN.
- Ellis Island, where Mr. Lennon received his green card in 1975.
- The Dakota Hotel, Mr. Lennon’s last home in New York City. He was shot and killed in front of the building on December 8, 1980.
- The Naumburg Bandshell: On December 14, 1980, a candlelight vigil and memorial service was held here to honor Mr. Lennon’s memory.
- Strawberry Fields: This Central Park memorial, named after one of the Beatles’ most famous songs, is dedicated to Mr. Lennon’s memory. It is located right across the street from the Dakota.
While not included on the NYPL list, the Record Plant, a recording studio which was the last building Mr. Lennon set foot in, was notable to us because it’s now the home of the Observer offices. (The Record Plant shut its doors in 1987).
The library also carries various books about Mr. Lennon’s life, so there’s no need to imagine his musical impact.