Well, folks, the time has come. It’s with a broken heart that I report that the 5Pointz demolition has begun. They paved paradise and put up a… condo unit? I wonder what Joni Mitchell would think of the whitewashing and destruction of a New York City artistic landmark. 5 Pointz in Queens was a graffiti mecca, an abandoned building made beautiful, imbued with colorful work from the world’s most talented graffiti and street artists. Passing the 200,000-square-foot factory building, one never knew where to look first — and each time, one would notice something different, something fresh, and something interesting. Well, one morning last year, New York City woke up to find that all of that color, all of that artwork, had been whitewashed.
Fast-forward a year and finally we know the fate of that once-beautiful, now bland building, and its construction has begun. After substantial protest against the demolition of the holy-grail-of-graffiti, two residential towers will stand at 41 and 47 floors high in 5 Pointz’s place. The boxy, gray- and cream-colored buildings will act as new residential luxury condos. I’m sure they’ll be luxury on the inside, but from the outside, the renderings seem to give no indication of any interesting architectural detailing.
According to a Daily News article, street art is being incorporated into portions of the design as an homage to the former building: “A 40-by-80-foot edifice above its garage meant to be spray-painted and a separate space for about 20 artists’ studios. There will also be paintable walls that wrap around a 30,000-square-foot courtyard behind the complex, in addition to some open wall space on Davis St.,” according to one of the site owners David Walkoff.
It may be too little too late. As 20+ years of work are already covered, why would many of these artists want to return to beautify the new space of those who ripped it down? Only time will tell.
RIP, 5 Pointz.
(photo credit: Dave Turner)
(art by Alice Mizrachi, source: fumerism.com)
(photo at top: 5POINTz Freight_Elevator by_Eli ‘sp1te’ Mergel)