A Piece of New York's Cultural History Prepares for the Wrecking Ball

Karen McVeigh reports on 5Pointz in Long Island City, a public mecca for hip hop and graffiti artists, and its uncertain future.
January 24, 2012, 2pm PST | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Tourists from around the world come to appreciate and participate in the 200,000 sq. ft. public art gallery called 5Pointz, but 2012 might be their last opportunity to do so. The building is one of the largest sites for artists to spray paint legally for free in the country, and a catalyst for artists making the jump from street art to the art gallery. However, the wave of redevelopment that has washed over Long Island City over the last several years is poised to engulf the site in 2013.

A plan to demolish the building to make room for high-rise condos was unveiled last March by its owner, Jerry Wolkoff. "But Wolkoff's plan, say artists and community activists, will not only destroy an important hip-hop landmark, but the vibrant artistic community of Long Island City – one of the largest in New York – along with it."

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Published on Tuesday, January 17, 2012 in The Guardian
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