Only Murders in the Building: Arconia’s Wild Real-Life Prototype Makes the Show Seem Boring
And you can still see it in New York.
In an apartment building in Manhattan called the Arconia, there are three true crime fans — Mabel, Oliver, and Charles, who meet after the murder of one of their neighbors and start their own investigation. Three new friends decide to create their own true crime podcast called Only Murders in the Building.
Do you think that the fact every season ends with yet another murder is completely unrealistic? It turns out that the Arconia has a real-life prototype, and the history of that building probably surpasses even the show’s script in terms of insanity.
The Ansonia is a building on the Upper West Side of Manhattan in New York City, located at 2109 Broadway, between 73rd and 74th Streets. The Ansonia was not just a residential building, it was a luxury hotel. It had 1,400 rooms and over 300 apartments. In the dining room for 1,300 guests, there was a swimming pool with real sea lions (via Vanity Fair)
The owner wanted to build something like a state within a state, with its own supply system, so he opened a real farm on the roof. There were about half a thousand chickens, and fresh eggs were delivered to the residents every day. In addition to chickens, there were ducks, six goats, and even a small bear cub. After a few years, however, the Health Department closed the farm.
Like the Arconia in the show, the Ansonia was home to many famous people, including baseball icon Babe Ruth and boxer Jack Dempsey.
It was also within the Ansonia’s walls that the famous Black Sox scandal took place, when eight Chicago White Sox players were accused of intentionally throwing the 1919 World Series against the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for bribes from Arnold Rothstein’s gambling syndicate.
But then the building passed from one person to another. The hotel was first transformed into a cabaret sex club called the Continental Baths and then into a gay club. In the Arsonia, racketeers were killed, dancers shot their lovers, and gangsters discussed their evil plans in the dining halls.
Eventually, the Ansonia was transformed into a luxury condominium, but New York history still remembers the building’s crazy past, which got resurrected in Only Murders in the Building.
Source: Vanity Fair