5Pointz street art mecca NYC Untapped Cities

 For two decades, the 5pointz Aerosol Art Centre, a cluster of abandoned factory warehouses in Long Island City, has served as an internationally-renowned graffiti Mecca, attracting artists from all over the world. Now however the site is facing demolition as local politicians including Queens Borough President, Helen Marshall have rallied behind developer, David Wolkoff, to develop the area residentially. Demolition is expected to take place at the end of the year and Wolkoff plans for two towers, both over 40 storys tall, to stand in 5Pointz’s stead. 

Altered States video feature by the BBC News website looking at 5Pointz and what its loss will mean to the economy and community in New York.

Many are saddened at the prospect of losing their beloved 5Pointz and none more so than the curator, Jonathan Cohen. For him, the loss would mean an end to his work. After all, as he put it, why would he want to move somewhere else only for the subsequent site to be redeveloped in the same way. Movements have sprung up calling to save 5Pointz but not all of them have been vocal. One artist from Germany painted a visual food-chain on the side of the walls displaying a range of creatures eating one another. At the very end is a corporate figure, representing the developers eliminating the artistic value of the site. Although Wolkoff plans to leave some 2,280 square feet for artwork, the artists themselves claim that they have not been allocated any space.

For more information on 5 Pointz, check out our tour of the complex and a tour of the artwork at 5Pointz.