The End of Graffiti Heaven

Graffiti artists practice their craft on an old warehouse in Long Island City, New York.

Graffiti artists practice their craft on an old warehouse in Long Island City, New York.

At the end of summer in 2007, I made a whirlwind trip to New York City with my wife, Jenny, and another colleague from the newspaper where we worked. We had heard that Coney Island, the iconic summer spot for so many New Yorkers, was being endangered by developers seeking to make big profits on the valuable oceanside real estate.

During the 12-hour stay (yes 12 hours), I photographed Coney Island and we also made a trip to a mecca for graffiti artists from across the globe, 5-Pointz.

Today the New York times posted a story on their website about how the owner of the building in had painters whitewash the graffiti on his warehouse in Long Island City overnight. Within hours the work of over 1,500 artists was gone.

Artists and supporters had tried to stop a plan to convert the three-acre site into a $400 million development that will include luxury apartments. But after public debate and court hearings failed, they where going to try to have the building designated as a landmark.

Covering the art eliminated that strategy.

You can read the story by our colleague David Reynolds on American-Journal.org.

The New York Times story can be found here: 5Pointz, a Graffiti Mecca in Queens, Is Wiped Clean Overnight.

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