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5 Pointz loading dock, and the labyrinth in the parking lot.

5 Pointz loading dock, and the labyrinth in the parking lot.

Last week, the iconic 5 Pointz Art Center in Long Island City lost another battle in its fight for survival. On August 21, 2013, the New York City Planning Commission unanimously voted to approve development plans for two high-rise residential towers, for which the 5 Pointz building will be demolished. The City Council now has 50 days to approve the Planning Commission’s decision. If the Council does not hand down a decision the project is considered approved. Meanwhile, 5 Pointz advocates continue their petition campaign to have the location landmarked, and are planning a rally.

The demolition of 5 pointz is going to be a tremendous loss for not only graffiti artists, neighborhood residents and businesses, but also for the New York cultural scene as well. 5 Pointz is one of the few promoters of positive street art and education. These walls have served as a legal canvas for thousands of artists since the 1990s, when it originally operated under name “Phun Phactory.” Here, artists may practice their craft, refine technique, experiment, learn from masters, and teach those who are less experienced. There is an atmosphere of collaboration and creativity, and on any given day there are artists at work. Additionally, they hold many special events and cultural programming.

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DJ Kool Herc mural by Danielle Mastrion. Considered the father of hip-hop, Herc was the guest of honor at a recent 5 Pointz event which marked the 40th anniversary of hip-hop.

5 Pointz attracts many local and international tourists, as well as art lovers from other NYC boroughs.  Across the street from MoMA PS1, this building is an essential part of an artist community and art scene. Unlike many other local venues however, 5 Pointz is free and outdoors. Visible from the street and elevated subway trains, this art is accessible to everyone. This context is fitting for graffiti and street art, which is traditionally seen on the street and in public view.

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Visitors enjoy a King Kong mural and other collaborative artworks.

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Street view of the building.

At any given time, there are hundreds of pieces covering the exterior of this former factory building, all highly-curated by Meres One. Here is a small collection of images from our recent visit:

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Mural by local artist, Kid Lew.

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Kid Lew mural (detail).

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Mural by TooFly

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Mural by Icy and Sot, artists from Iran.

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Mural by Nicholai Khan, a formally trained, internationally recognized artist who was born in Trinidad and raised in New York City.

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Pointillism portrait by James Cochran,

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Mural by Monsieur Plume, Raid Crew. Lightbulb by Meresone.

Although no demolition date is being given as of yet, make sure to visit this amazing place as soon as you can. Check out the next Sidetour to 5Pointz, read our past coverage on Untapped, and stay tuned for more. Get more info at www.5ptz.com and sign their online petition.

Here are some views of the building from the 7 train, a view which may soon be gone:

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The complex, as seen from the 7 train.

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A view of the roof from the 7 train.

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A view from the 7 train. Featuring Michael De Feo flower, Notorious B.I.G. by OD, Meres’ light bulb character, and many others.

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A view from the 7 train.

See more photography from Rachel Fawn Alban.

1 Comment

  1. 5pointz says:

    There is going to be a Protest on 5pointz starting Friday tommorrow raising our voices so they dont CRUSH down years and years of the BEST ART. We gotta spark ART cuz if 5pointz disappears, our “Expression” also disappears. We gotta protest through queens by bombing and expanding OUR ART through queens so “the city knows”. 5POINTZ!!!! Wake up!!!!!!

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