Friday, August 6, 2010
By Gabriela Resto-Montero
UPPER EAST SIDE — Groucho Marx once quipped that he wouldn't want to be a part of any club that would accept him as a member.
If that's the case, then the late comedian would be sure to decline membership to the Carnegie Hill Historic District now that his family's former house at 179 East 93rd Street is one step closer to becoming a part of the protected neighborhood.
The Landmarks Committee of Community Board 8 voted Monday to add both the Marx house and East 93rd Street between Lexington and Third Avenues to the district.
Although the street served as the incubator for the comedic genius of Chico, Harpo, Groucho, Zeppo and Gummo Marx, the board was just as moved to landmark the block by recent developments of condos that have replaced brownstones on the street.
"It's become the poster child for what can happen if a block is not protected," said Terry Slater, a board member.
Since forming in 2008, the East 93rd Street Beautification Association has received the support of Woody Allen and Bill Marx, son of Harpo Marx, in its efforts to landmark the block.
Preserving the cultural history of the block where his father grew up is even more urgent now that fewer people are familiar with the work of the Marx Brothers, Bill Marx said.
"I'm beginning to wonder if in five years there will be anyone who remembers who the Marx Brothers are because they all will have died off," Marx said.
Next up in the neighborhood's road to landmark status is the Community Board 8 full board vote on the designation at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Auditorium.
Read more: http://dnainfo.com/20100720/upper-east-side/marx-brothers-childhood-home-on-upper-east-side-home-gets-greenlight-for-landmarking#ixzz0vqwFzO3i