5Pointz Whitewashed Overnight

November 19, 2013 | HYPERALLERGIC

(Our little pink character, The Weather sKwirl, showed up on Hyperallergic’s photo essay about 5 Pointz — he’s inside the “o” in the world “To” on the top line.)

5Pointz Whitewashed Overnight
by Mostafa Heddaya

The Weather Skwirl on Hyperallergic

(all photographs by Tiernan Morgan and used with permission)

In the early morning hours, much of the embattled 5Pointz complex on Long Island City was whitewashed — apparently at the behest of landlords Jerry and David Walkoff. Though an injunction against the graffiti and street art complex failed in federal court in Brooklyn last week, 5Pointz tenants allege that the legal challenge was ongoing. A rally against the demolition drew hundreds to the site on Saturday, which the Walkoffs plan to redevelop with residential towers.

Dreddy Kruger, a resident MC at 5Pointz, told Hyperallergic this morning that “the judge hasn’t even disclosed the final paperwork on the federal injunction case … Nothing should have been done yet. We’re still legal tenants [in] the building.” Speaking on the scene, Kruger further stated that he believes the building was buffed between 1 and 6:30am in a seemingly ad hoc effort. When much of the 5Pointz crew arrived this morning, they encountered mild police presence summoned, they allege, by the landlord.

At 9:45am this morning, 5Pointz curator Jonathan “Meres One” Cohen made the following scathing comments to Hyperallergic:

What [Jerry Walkoff] did last night is yet another display of how he seems to do what he wants, there were no city permits to paint this building … Obviously it was done yet again without permission. I want to say Jerry, I hope you’re very happy dude, cuz long after you’re gone, which is not long, but your son and his son will live with your legacy. You won’t be remembered for any one individual thing you built in terms of architecturally, you will be remembered as the biggest art murderer of our time.”

According to the Save 5Pointz Facebook group, there will be a candlelight vigil tonight at the site, just after sunset. “Tonight 5 pointz again becomes the ‘institute of higher burnin,’” the post says.

Hundreds Rally To Save 5 Pointz From Wrecking Ball


(Little did we know that our field trip to photograph 5 Pointz would lead to our photo ending up in Gothamist.)

Hundreds Rally To Save 5 Pointz From Wrecking Ball
Photo and story by Scott Lynch / Gothamist

Gothamist 5 Pointz

Hundreds of art fans crowded into the loading dock area of Long Island City’s 5 Pointz yesterday to show their support for the internationally renowned graffiti gallery. The warehouse, owned by developers Jerry and David Wolkoff, is scheduled for demolition before the end of the year, but supporters of the art space tried to remain optimistic as they also said their goodbyes.

5 Pointz curator Jonathan Cohen, aka Meres One, had sought a court injunction against the destruction of the building, and the subsequent development of two gleaming new condos in its place, but last week Judge Frederic Block ruled that he could he find no legal reason to stop the Wolkoffs from  doing whatever the hell they want with their property.

Much of the two-hour Save 5 Pointz Rally felt more like a “final, fond farewell” than an angry political demonstration: A million photo-ops and selfies; old-school hip hop blasting in the courtyard, courtesy DJ Formula One; a scattering of unnecessary NYPD officers; and dozens of reminiscences from the stage by graffiti writers, teachers, students, and local art fans of what 5 Pointz has meant for them personally as well as to the community as a whole.

But despite the somewhat melancholy atmosphere, Meres One made it clear that he and his crew were not done fighting. “It’s not over until I say it’s over,” said Meres in his rallying speech. “Don’t bring your negative vibes and talk of demolition here today. I’m exhausted from all of this, but I’m not giving up yet.”

The latest tactic: getting the 200,000 square-foot building—built in 1904 as a water plant, but for the last two decades serving as a mecca for writers and artists from around the world—landmarked by the city. To that end,NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission “Request For Evaluation” forms were passed around and filled out by most of those in attendance at Saturday, joining the “thousands” more that Meres claims are already done and waiting to be sent.

If you’d like to help the battle to save 5 Pointz, here’s where you can download the form, as well as get info on where to send it. And if THAT doesn’t work, a speaker at the demonstration named Angel promised to block the bulldozers with a human chain around the entire building “no matter how cold the weather, or how hungry we get”. If you’d like to get in on that action, send your info to Angel at HomeboySandman@gmail.com.


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