LONG ISLAND CITY, Queens (Greg Mocker PIX11) – The writing is still on the wall.
The building known as 5 Pointz is still visible from the 7 train near the Court Square station. The painted-over murals at the graffiti mecca have not been touched for months, except for the occasional new and unauthorized scrawl.
The building has been awaiting demolition for months and the owner says work may begin in the summer.
Without announcement late one night in mid-November 2013, most of the murals outside 5 Pointz were painted white.
Here’s the video report from that day.
The building’s owner, Jerry Wolkoff, hired the crews and was within his rights to complete the work. For decades, Wolkoff allowed the painting.
In early October, New York City Council approved his request for a height variance on the property. That cleared the way for demolition of the existing building, which all sides agreed, needed some work.
Meres One, who has organized and curated the exterior presentations, says artists are not interested in returning to this space. Artists have attempted to sue for destruction of their property.
Many of the artists have been working at other locations around Brooklyn and Queens, with support from other building owners.
A recent show called “Whitewash” is being curated at the Jeffrey Leder Gallery in Long Island City. The show runs through June 8, 2014 at 2137 45th Road, which is two blocks from the original building.
In a phone interview in November, Wolkoff said he did not inform the artists or supporters because he did not want to see anyone arrested or cause a commotion.
Wolkoff says he did not want to see the art dismantled piece by piece. The artists wish they had the chance to save some of the pieces that were constructed on panels attached to the building.
Demolition was expected to begin on the new complex in early 2014.
As of June 2014, the building remained. Wolkoff, contacted for an update to this report, says there have been some problems getting permits and work should begin in the summer.