NYC’s 5 Pointz Graffiti Exhibit Whitewashed Over for Replacement by High Rises
Like it or not, New York City is changing and the culture is changing with it. That message was sent loud and clear by Jerry Wolkoff, developer/owner of 5 Pointz, an outdoor graffiti art space that was painted white on Tuesday morning.
I repeat 5 pointz is gone ..painted white over night we almost got arrested
— 5 Pointz (@5PointzNYC) November 19, 2013
Approved for replacement by the New York City Council in October, the Long Island City tourist attraction and its former low-rent artist housing called Crane Street Studios will soon be replaced with $400 million high rise condos.
The planned 41- and 47-story luxury towers are expected to include 210 affordable units and artist space.
RIP 5 Pointz History Erased overnight.. pic.twitter.com/r6LuC8EmUG
— Davey D (@mrdaveyd) November 19, 2013
Artists and community members have made many efforts to save 5 Pointz including a restraining order, a lawsuit filed by 5 Pointz proprietors, and a rally held on Saturday, November 16th.
“New York is kind of boring right now, they’re overdeveloping, they’re building these glass tissue boxes that are made cheap, have no souls and they’re destroying all our communities,” said Jonathan Cohen, 5 Pointz curator, told QueensCourier during the November 16 rally. “This is the heart of Long Island City community.”
— Al Jones (@aljoneswins) November 19, 2013
Some may say they’ve seen this coming since 2009, when an artist was seriously injured by a collapsing concrete fire escape.
The incident and several violations, including unsafe conditions and partitions to create the studios without a proper permit, caused the largest of the buildings to be closed.
After $200,000 in repairs with $1 million more needed to bring the buildings up to code, Crane Street Studios were closed indefinitely, while the 5 Pointz exhibit remained.
Originally named the Phun Phactory, the water meter factory was converted into an art space under an art program by Pat DiLillo in 1992. Its purpose was to discourage graffiti vandalism by encouraging artists to display their work in a formal showcase.
5 Pointz organizers are planning a candlelight vigil at 5 Pointz tonight at 5 pm (45-46 Davis St, Long Island City, NY 11101).