Marx Brothers son pushes for landmark status

By Adam Pincus | October 24, 2008 05:11PM

The 71-year-old son of Harpo Marx joined an effort to extend the Carnegie Hill Historic District to include an apartment building where his father and uncles lived when they were children in the early 20th century.

Bill Marx, one of Harpo’s four children, said the city ought to add the four-story building at 179 East 93rd Street near Third Avenue to the existing landmark district between 86th and 98th streets and Fifth and Lexington avenues to honor the early years of the slapstick comedy family.

“We are a very young country. We don’t have a lot of history, especially in the entertainment field,” Marx said in a telephone interview from his home in Rancho Mirage, California. “I just think it is important for future generations to understand what preceded them.”

The 93rd Street Beautification Association began a push to extend the Carnegie Hill Historic District one block east to include the block on East 93rd Street where the Marx Brothers home is located, after several buildings on the street were torn down.

Marx sent a letter this week to the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission asking it to extend the district, which was created in 1974 and then extended in 1993.

The preservation group was put in touch with Marx through a landmark supporter who also helped secure a letter from Woody Allen supporting the extension.

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