In 1971, John Lennon moved to New York to escape life in the limelight and the constant watchful eye of the press. He first retreated with Yoko Ono to St. Regis Hotel before they transitioned to Greenwich Village and eventually, the Dakota, where he was murdered. The last 10 years of the former Beatle’s life saw a surge in his solo work, which included collaborations with Elton John, as well as his family centered lifestyle. Here, we take a look at seven iconic spots from the rock legend’s life in the Big Apple. By Annie Reuter.

(credit: Annie Reuter/CBSNewYork)

St. Regis Hotel

Two East 55th Street, at Fifth Avenue
NY, NY 10022

The beautiful first New York residence of Lennon and wife, Yoko Ono, St. Regis Hotel is located in the heart of Manhattan. With 164 guest rooms and 65 suites of custom-made furnishings at its E. 55th Street location, the former Beatle found refuge from his previous lifestyle in the spotlight on Fifth Avenue.

(credit: Sear Sound)

The Hit Factory

353 West 48th Street, 6th Floor
NY, NY 10036

A few avenues away, Lennon frequented recording studio The Hit Factory. Situated on 48th Street and Ninth Avenue, this is where he and Ono collaborated on album, Double Fantasy. Sear Sound moved to the location 20 years ago, and Ono continues to use the studio as she recently tracked and mixed her last album. “While it is true, that John Lennon and Yoko Ono recorded here when it was Hit Factory, Sear Sound moved in here 20 years ago and had no association with the old Hit Factory,” studio manager Roberta Findlay explained. However, there is some Beatles memorabilia in the studio. “We have some tape machines that were used by the Beatles at Abbey Road which we purchased some years ago and modified.”

(credit: Annie Reuter/CBSNewYork)

Smith’s Bar

701 8th Avenue (W.44th Street)
NY, NY 10036

It has been rumored that Lennon loved the hamburgers at Smith’s Bar on Eighth Avenue. Not a far walk from The Hit Factory, it isn’t too hard to believe – perhaps late night recording sessions led to some cravings. Since the bar changed ownership eight years ago, no one knows the real story of Lennon’s hamburger choice. A neighborhood staple for the past 60 years, it’s hard to imagine the Beatle not stumbling into Smith’s Bar at some point.

(credit: Annie Reuter/CBSNewYork)

105 Bank Street

After their stay at St. Regis Hotel, Lennon and Ono moved to an apartment in Greenwich Village. The area, ripe with art, was a fitting destination for the couple. Nestled on a quiet cobblestone street, their new home was their haven until it was robbed. Soon after, the young married couple moved to the Dakota, where Lennon lived until his untimely death.

(credit: Annie Reuter/CBSNewYork)

The Dakota

1 West 72nd Street
NY, NY 10023

Lennon’s final residence is where Annie Leibovitz photographed her iconic 1981 Rolling Stone cover. The photo was taken only hours before he died. One of the few times Lennon allowed a photographer into their home; it would be the last. He was shot later that night, December 8, 1980, in front of the Dakota.

(credit: Annie Reuter/CBSNewYork)

Central Park, Strawberry Fields

Central Park West between 71st and 74th Streets

A short distance from his home at the Dakota lays Central Park’s Strawberry Fields, a spot Lennon often visited. A tranquil environment, and designated Quiet Zone, the area was dedicated on October 9, 1985, the 45th anniversary of his birth. Here, a black-and-white mosaic which bears the word Imagine can be found among elm trees and benches where numerous tourists frequent. Despite the busy spot, there is an eerie quiet as fans pause to take photos, leave letters or sit beneath the large elm trees.

(credit: Annie Reuter/CBSNewYork)

Madison Square Garden

4 Pennsylvania Plaza
New York, New York 10001

A month after he released Walls and Bridges, the album that produced his only No. 1 single in his lifetime, “Whatever Gets You Thru the Night,” Lennon made his last major live appearance. On November 28, 1974, he joined Elton John onstage at Madison Square Garden where they performed the single, which features John on backing vocals and piano, as well as “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” and “I Saw Her Standing There.”