Help Us Co-Name the Block!

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Marx Brothers Place is a community effort to celebrate the creative genius of New York City’s favorites sons; Groucho, Harpo, Chico, Gummo & Zeppo. We hope you enjoy reading about this exciting plan to preserve the cultural heritage of these American icons, and the progress that we’ve already made.

Please click on the wonderful catalogue of photographs found on this blog – illustrating both the worldwide appeal of these lovable brothers, as well as the unique architectural and streetscape appeal of our little New York City block East 93rd Street (off Lexington Avenue). Also, be sure to click on the short video of the “boys” – as we like to call them – and watch the geniuses who have influenced so many generations of writers, artists, filmakers, playwrights, poets, comics and fans alike.

Marx Brothers Place is all about making sure that the block the “boys” called home is properly designated to honor the Marx Brothers contribution to our collective cultural history and New York City’s gift to the world. The childhood home of these atomic-comic icons still stands, at 179 East 93rd Street off Lexington Avenue, as an architectural symbol of the comic genius these irrepressible brothers continue to share with the world. And, in turn, out of gratitude, curiosity and deep devotion, the world continues to visit the “boys” making weekly pilgrimages to this classic New York House. Listed in countless European Travel Guides and Walking Tours of New York City, Marx Brothers Place has remained a mecca for devoted fans who come with little more than a camera in one hand and a travelers guide in the other. Their visit to this wonderful house brings joy to both the tourists and the neighborhood which is steeped in pride for their favorite sons. Each visit also brings, yet, one more foreign language we proudly add to the list of welcome visitors.

The fact that after years of silence, Harpo Marx so passionately, and with such great detail, described his cherished childhood home, 179 East 93rd Street, in his highly acclaimed Memoir speaks volumes (see, Harpo Speaks). This block, and its wonderful mix of artists and artisans, had a profound influence on the attitudes and perspectives that shaped the world as seen by the Marx Brothers. Late in life, Groucho himself came home for a visit. Sitting in silence, while soaking up years of memories in his childhood home, he was saying goodbye to the ghosts of his mother and father – both of whom some believe still move about the building. Groucho died shortly after this emotional farewell to his beloved childhood home.

179 is a very special house. And East 93rd Street is a very special block. The 93rd Street Beautification Association is honored to have the support of NYC Preservationist Anthony C. Wood; Seri Worden – President of the Friends of the Upper East Side; Defenders of the Historic Upper East Side; NYC Preservationsist Michael Devonshire; Columbia University’s Preservation Specialist Jennifer Schork and the NYC Historic Districts Council in this community-wide effort to protect East 93rd Street and have the block (at the eastern corner of Lexington Avenue – where tourists alight from their buses and subways) co-named “Marx Brothers Place”. We also need YOUR support in this effort. Please help us in this effort to co-name the block “Marx Brothers Place”. I

In order to make this happen, we need your support. So, please write or call any of the following people TODAY: New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, spkmccle@council.nyc.gov or her staff specialist, Danielle DeCerbo, danielle.decerbo@council.nyc.ny.us; New York City Council Member Jessica Lappin, lappin@council.nyc.ny.us; New York City Council Member Dan Garodnick, garodnick@council.nyc.ny.us; Manhattan Borough President, Scott Stringer, cbarrie@manhattanbp.org; Congresswoman Caroline Maloney, minna.elias@mail.house.gov; NY State Senator Liz Krueger, liz@lizkrueger.com; NY State Assemblyman Micah Kellner, kellnerm@assembly.state.ny.us; New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, ljackson@cityhall.nyc.gov and anyone else you know who can help us get this done. Tell these people how much the Marx Brothers mean to the world. Tell them how much the Marx Brothers mean to you. And tell them how much you love the idea of co-naming the block – Marx Brothers Place! Most of us need to lighten up, put a little more humor in our lives. And by naming the block for New York’s own comic genuises, not only will we celebrate the cultural history this little street represents.

We’ll also be putting a smile on the face of every person who’s ever tried to walk across a room, taking three steps in one, like the man himself: Groucho Marx. The Marx Brothers clearly belong to the collective conscience of the global community. But their childhood, those formidable years that shaped their genius, belongs to East 93rd Street. Thanks for listening!

Petition to Co-Name East 93rd Street ‘Marx Brothers Place’ in honor of the extant childhood home of the Comic Icons. Please click on the link and add your name to the list:

http://www.petitiononline.com/coname/petition.html

Published on February 25, 2008 at 9:09 pm  Comments (2)  

2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Honk! Honk! Honk if you love to see historic preservation of Marx Bros.’ home in NYC. Honk! Honk! Harpo, Chico, Groucho, Zeppo, and the other Marx family should be recognized in the history on how the Marx Bros. got started. Where I come from, we are proud to show the historic preservation of Shoeless Joe Jackson’s(baseball player who was, still is barred from baseball hall of fame) home next to Flour Field in Greenville, SC. We need to keep preserve historic places like Marx Bros. home so future genration can know or understand where the famous slapstick comedians got started or came from…. Honk! Honk! Honk!

  2. As another comedian who grew up in Yorkville…I am passionate that we name it Marx Brothers Place. In fact, despite their Jewish heritage, we should name it SAINT Marx Brothers Place! Then of course everyone knows they were brothers. So that’s superfluous. So SAINT Marx Place it is!! Except of course for clarity purposes, it should be St. Marks Place. And we can move it to E. 8th st! Perfect. Groucho always felt most at home on the lower east side anyway!! I think the boys would definitely welcome this honor!!


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