New York’s international graffiti mecca 5 Pointz was erased overnight when the paintings were buffed over on the orders of the property’s owners.
The five-story warehouse complex in Queens, which has hosted a curated selection of graffiti since 2002, was a popular gathering place for art fans; its murals were a familiar sight to New York subway passengers as they passed through the Long Island City neighborhood. But in August, city officials granted Jerry and David Wolkoff, who own the building, permission to demolish the site.
The surprise overnight whitewash brought condemnation from artists, fans and volunteers who had gathered at the spot on Tuesday, many in tears.
“What’s super disrespectful is that the whole thing about 5 Pointz is: it’s legal painting,” said 5 Pointz volunteer Rebekah Kennedy. “For someone to come in and wash it away … that’s the biggest vandal.”
She said that before the destruction, volunteers had been working on a way to preserve the art or the building as a landmark. “To just take it away is the biggest ‘fuck you’ that can happen,” Kennedy said.