Real-Life Buildings Inspired Arconia From ‘Only Murders in the Building’

  • The murder mystery TV series “Only Murders in the Building” returned for a second season in June.
  • The fictional location of the show’s gruesome murders — the Arconia — may be more grounded in reality than previously thought.
  • The buildings that inspired the Arconia are more than just gaudy facades, with their own share of scandal.

Hulu’s hit comedy “Only Murders in the Building” has captivated audiences with a modern take on a classic whodunit murder mystery, set in a lavish residence on New York’s Upper West Side.

Just after solving the murder of Tim Kono (Julian Cihi) in the first season, Charles Haden-Savage (Steve Martin), Oliver Putnam (Martin Short) and Mabel Mora (Selena Gomez) found themselves having to clear their names after their crabby building manager Bunny met an eerie demise in Mabel’s arms — but not without capturing every bit of their debacle in zingy sound bites for their podcast.

While the bloody murders and scandals seem too ridiculous to be true, showrunner John Hoffman, who made the show with Martin, revealed earlier in an interview with The New York Times that the infamous Arconia apartment building was inspired by a real building on the Upper West Side – the Belnord at West 86th Street and Broadway.

“I was obsessed,” Hoffman told The Times. “I knew we could make something as tall as that amazing building. It’s a cliché to say the building itself is a character, but I like the challenge of going a little bit further than that cliché.”

“What draws us out of our apartments to meet people? How well do you know your neighbors? Do you only connect when necessary?” he continued. “The ways we come together when we live in these spaces is what’s really interesting.”

Although the Belnord does appear in the popular Hulu whodunit series, there is another luxury apartment building on Broadway between 73rd and 74th Street that has also served as inspiration, whose name is more similar to the Arconia – the Ansonia.

But the Belnord and Ansonia are more than just their ostentatious facades – they come with a myriad of secrets and scandals, just like their fictional counterpart.

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