In November 2013, in the middle of night, painters blanket 5Points with white paint, destroying decades of street art in the span of a couple of hours. The order was given by Jerry Wolkoff, who bought the Long Island City-based buildings in 1971.
In 2014, he formally destroyed the buildings, paving the way for — surprise, surprise — two luxury towers to be built in its place. Yesterday, Curbed exclusively published photos of renderings provided by the design firm Mojo Stumer Associates, who was hired by the development firm owned by Wolkoff, G&M Realty.
What the renderings showed insulted supporters of the 5Pointz. Mojo Stumer implement all of this antiseptic-looking graffiti in the halls, including a garish-looking 5Pointz sign that will be featured throughout the two properties. Luxury building using faux-graffiti isn’t anything new, but there is an extra tone-deafness here, once the history of the property is considered.
In a statement, Mojo Stumer Associates said:
“The client requested that graffiti artwork be incorporated throughout the interiors to reflect back on the history of the 5Pointz neighborhood.”
The graffiti artists who provided the original work are currently in court trying to get compensation for their work that was destroyed. Marie Cecile Flageul is a spokeswoman for the artists and she commented on the renderings by saying
“To the 5Pointz community, for him to name the building 5Pointz and to use a mock-up of a logo of ours, we feel the disrespect continues.”
Wolkoff, who spoke to DNA New York, said it’s his building and he has the right to use the name and design if he wanted to:
“It’s my building, and I let them express themselves for 25 years…I loved what they did. I have no animosity.”
Wolkoff also said he wants to invite street artists to come back and paint at the site after the property is finished.
The two luxury rental buildings called 5Pointz are expected to be opened in late 2018.