The Upper West Side building is located on 86th Street & Broadway.
As the title suggests, the plot of Only Murders in the Building, a Hulu murder mystery starring Steve Martin, Martin Short, and Selena Gomez, revolves around one building: an Upper West Side apartment complex called the Arconia, where all the characters live. And while the story is fictional, the Arconia is real, well, sort of.
The exterior shots of an apartment building called the Belnord are used for the Arconia, and stars Gomez, Short, and Martin have all filmed at the Upper West Side apartment building. (The interiors of all the apartments are filmed on a soundstage.) And while the second episode of season two states that the Arconia was designed by "architect and infamous playboy Archibald Carter," in reality, H. Hobart Weekes of
Hiss and Weeks architectural firm designed the building in 1908.
"I was obsessed" with the Belnord, Only Murders in the Building co-creator John Hoffman told the New York Times. "I knew we could make something as elevated as that amazing building. It’s a cliché to say that the building itself is a character, but I like the challenge of getting beyond that cliché a bit. What pulls us out of our apartments to meet people? How well do you know your neighbors? Do you only connect when it’s necessary? The ways in which we get pulled together when we live in these spaces is what’s really interesting."
Hoffman even offered residents of the Belnord the chance to be extras during the season one finale, when Bunny Folger (Jayne Houdyshell) is found dead. "Many took us up on that and I got to meet so many tenants of the building who were lovely and generous," he recounted to Thrillist. "I think at the time they enjoyed a switch-up, and it’s happening right outside. They can look out their windows and watch Selena Gomez and Steve Martin play a scene together. It became, ‘This is a nice change from me sitting in my apartment, looking at my laptop.’"
There have been famous residents of the Belnord over the years, including actor Zero Mostel who portrayed Tevye in the original Fiddler on the Roof on Broadway, Nobel Prize-winning writer Isaac Bashevis Singer, and Marilyn Monroe’s acting coach Lee Strasberg. You, too, can live in the Belnord; as of this writing, there are multiple apartments for sale in the famous building, ranging in price from $4.15 million to $8.35 million and one rental of a 12 (yes, 12!!) bedroom apartment is available for $30,000 a month.
Emily Burack (she/her) is the news writer for Town & Country, where she covers entertainment, culture, the royals, and a range of other subjects. Before joining T&C, she was the deputy managing editor at Hey Alma, a Jewish culture site. Follow her @emburack on Twitter and Instagram.
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