Andrew Alpern is an architectural historian, architect, and attorney who has known the Dakota since his childhood in the neighborhood. He is the preëminent expert on historic apartment houses in New York, with nine prior books, five of which tell stories of New York's architectural assets and the people behind them. Alpern has also written scores of articles about historical architecture and particular buildings.
He has written dozens of book reviews, more than 85 of his Letters to the Editor have been published, and he is regularly quoted in print. His donations of two major collections to the Columbia University Libraries resulted in a block-buster exhibition of his 50-year archive of the work of writer/artist Edward Gorey and the first-ever scholarly catalogue of his collection of over 300 years of architectural drawing instruments, which have been made obsolete by computer drafting. Since 2002 Alpern has served as general counsel and chief compliance officer for an SEC-registered investment adviser firm. He has been a resident of Manhattan since 1938.