5Pointz Whitewashed Overnight [UPDATE 2]

(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.

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With additional reporting by Tiernan Morgan.

UPDATE, 12:03pm EST: WNYC reporter Stephen Nessen has spoken to one of the building owners, who says that graffiti will be welcome at the new development:

Screen Shot 2013-11-19 at 12.04.04 PM— Hrag Vartanian

UPDATE 2, 12:53pm EST: The New York Times has published a story on the 5Pointz buff and they include some choice quotes and some funny passages:

The plan to convert the three-acre site into a $400 million development project that will include two glass towers and 1,000 new luxury apartments had provoked opposition from artists and their supporters. But after months of public debate, court hearings and political maneuvering, opponents had little left in their arsenal.

In a last-ditch effort to stop the development, they were hoping to have the building designated as a landmark. That option is now likely gone as well.

“I don’t know how you can erase 12 years of spectacular art,” said Hans Von Rittern, a guide who arrived with a busload of tourists, only to find the building’s art gone. “It’s cruel.”

— Hrag Vartanian

Editor’s Note: We have published a photo essay from the day after at 5Pointz, “5Pointz: The Morning After.”

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