- 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 – Arconia – may have more roots in reality than previously thought.
- The buildings that inspired Arconia are more than showy facades, coming with their own share of scandals.
Hulu’s popular comedy “Only Murders in the Building” has captivated audiences with a modern take on a classic murder mystery set in a luxury residence on New York’s Upper West Side.
Fresh from solving Tim Kono’s (Julian Cihi) murder in season one, Charles Haden-Savage (Steve Martin), Oliver Putnam (Martin Short) and Mabel Mora (Selena Gomez) find themselves trying to clear their names after their bad-tempered building manager Bunny met a gruesome death right in Mabel’s arms — but not without capturing every bit of their debacle in stark audio for their podcast.
While the gory murders and satanic shenanigans seem too ridiculous to be true, showrunner John Hoffman, who created the show with Martin, previously revealed 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 located at West 86th Street and Broadway.
“I was obsessed,” Hoffman told the Times. “I knew we could make something as elevated as this amazing building. It’s a cliché to say that the building itself is a character, but I like the challenge of going a bit beyond 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 makes an appearance in the popular Hulu whodunit series, there’s another luxury apartment building on Broadway between 73rd and 74th streets that may have also served as inspiration, whose name sounds more like Arconia — the Ansonia.
But Belnord and Ansonia are more than just their flamboyant facades – they come with their share of secrets and scandals, just like their fictional counterpart.