Art Nerd New York | Los Angeles

5 Pointz: A Graffiti Institution soon to face demolition

For the past two decades, 5 Pointz has been considered an epicenter of graffiti art in New York. The 200,000 square foot Long Island City warehouse cemented its popularity in the art world by providing artists with the opportunity to use its outside walls as a canvas for their spray paint visions. Unfortunately, the Graffiti Mecca does not have much longer to live. David Wolkoff, the owner of the building, plans to convert 5 Pointz into high-rise apartment buildings, contributing to the gentrification of western Queens/Long Island City. In other words, another condo building. If this isn’t New York, I don’t know what is.

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The demolition of 5 Pointz has been in talks since 2009 when an outdoor stairwell collapsed, injuring an artist working on a creation. The residents of the building, mostly artists, were forced to evacuate until a thorough inspection took place.  In 2012, the Wolkoff family announced that it was time for a new development on the warehouse located on Davis Street and Jackson Avenue. According to a Business Insider article, David Wolkoff claimed that his family allowed artists to use the building for over 20 years because they appreciated the unique art that the graffiti enthusiasts produced.  He also revealed that his family always planned to redevelop the site at some point in the future.

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This little known fact enraged many artists because no one fathomed that 5 Pointz was simply a temporary installation. I always concocted it as an outdoor museum that served as a permanent fixture within the New York arts scene. But the Wolkoffs are finalizing their decision to make it a distant memory.  The building could be demolished as early as September 2013!  It’s sad to know that 5 Pointz could no longer exist by the end of this summer. Artists have protested in hopes of rescuing the warehouse but it seems as though the city will permit the demolition process.

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5 Pointz will be remembered mostly for all of the art contributed by graffiti artists hailing from all over the world. Graffiti tends to be looked down upon and many feel as though it’s not art. It’s actually banned in most parts of the city. 5 Pointz provided an outlet for graffiti artists and showcased the beauty of graffiti; and that’s why so many people love this place. It will truly be missed.

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Hop on the subway to LIC and make sure you pay your respects to the Graffiti Mecca before it becomes a thing of the past.

What: 5 Pointz

Where: 45-46 Davis Street, Long Island City, NY 11101

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  1. […] and managed by Warren Brand, an LA-based entrepreneur and devoted art collector. Reminiscent of the 5 Pointz space in Long Island City, this west coast shrine to graffiti and street art will soon be demo’d by its developers!! […]



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