LOWER EAST SIDE, Manhattan — For months now, the walls of a Lower East Side community center have become eyesores, residents said.
To combat the rise of graffiti, the community is coming together to try and fix it by replacing it with something beautiful.
The graffiti is a problem that keeps coming back: on walls, air conditioning units and even near the front door of a youth center here at NYCHA’s Seward Park Houses.
Laura Li, the site director, said they have been hit six times in just the past three months. Their surveillance cameras have captured pictures of the vandals in the act.
Li said those photos gave been sent to police. But in the meantime, she said she saw an opportunity to strike back with a paint brush and create a new mural.
“Beautification, especially done in the spirit of community, is a great way to combat vandalism,” Robert Cordero, the executive director of the Grand Street Settlement, said.
Cordero said it’s an idea that works because it’s been done just a few feet away from the settlement. Back in March, a mural was created on the Grand Street side of the building by local artist Carla Torres — with the help of children and neighbors.
Since it;s been up, no one had tampered with that wall. Cordero said he hopes to do it again.
If you want to donate to the next project, visit Grand Street Settlement’s website.