Lizette Alvarez traces the rise of Wynwood from "desolate streets to completely filled energy where everybody is happy," as New York graffiti artist Ski proclaimed. "The newfound allure of Wynwood is the latest testament to how art — and creative developers, like Tony Goldman, who helped remake SoHo and South Beach — can sprinkle its metaphysical magic and transform even the bleakest places," says Alvarez.
Led by the arrival of Art Basel in 2002, the foresight of Goldman and David Lombardi, the founder of Lombardi Properties, and "renegade art galleries" that established a footprint in the area, a burgeoning art scene developed around Wynwood's warehouses over the last decade.
"Graffiti artists delighted in the blank, ugly walls of the abandoned warehouses. They went to work, and soon their art became synonymous with Wynwood. The Wynwood Walls, Mr. Goldman’s creation, now draws thousands of people every month, even tourist streetscape tours. Artists like Shephard Fairey became frequent contributors (this year he created a mural featuring Mr. Goldman)."
"Word got out."
“In my view, this was clearly the next Meatpacking District,” said Paul C. Lardi, the president of Maps-Mobile Arts Production, a recently opened professional photo studio that doubles as an event space. “It’s got great energy, but it’s not really a place for high-end retail. It’s for interesting people with artistic desires, not commercial ones.”