The Arconia from “Only Murders in the Building” is Based on a Real Apartment Building

Liz Jin
5 min readSep 25, 2022

And while no murders took place there (that we know of), there was plenty of drama

Only Murders in the Building is a comedy drama available on Hulu; image source.

I love true crime, podcasts, and comedy dramas, so watching Hulu’s Only Murders in the Building was a no-brainer.

In this series, Steve Martin, Martin Short, and Selena Gomez play residents of an affluent Upper West Side building called the Arconia in New York City. Their unlikely friendship begins when they discover a shared love of true crime podcasts while stranded together during a power outage.

When one of their fellow residents is murdered, the trio is convinced they can crack the case, and they share the twists and turns of their investigation on their podcast Only Murders in the Building (so named because Martin Short’s character wants to look into other crimes in the city, but Steve Martin’s character firmly states they should look at only murders in the building).

Add in quirky residents, romantic subplots, and hilarious cameos, and bingo! — you have a hit series already slated for a third season.

Killer acting and writing aside (pun intended), I couldn’t help but drool at the enviable digs of the Arconia’s residents. Every unit seemed to have soaring ceilings and stunning architectural details adorning the multiple, cavernous rooms.

Little did I know that the Arconia is based on an apartment building in New York City called the Belnord, located at 225 West 86th Street. While no murders (that we know of) have occurred there, the Belnord has witnessed plenty of drama over the last century.

Everything is Bigger in Tex-…errr the Upper West Side?

When it was completed in 1909, the Belnord’s architect claimed that he had designed the largest apartment building in the country. The massive building covered an entire city block and included a meticulously groomed half-acre courtyard in the center.

The Belnord is located in the exclusive Upper West Side neighborhood of NYC; image source.

With some apartments ranging from 3,000 to 4,000 square feet, the 175 apartments in the Belnord…

Liz Jin

“I wake up in the morning with a desire to both save the world and savor the world. That makes it hard to plan my day.”