Photo via Wikimedia Commons
Starting with the news that the iconic graffiti-covered warehouse known as 5Pointz in Long Island City, Queens, visible from passing trains since its beginnings the 1990s as an artists’ studio and exhibition space, was being razed and replaced by rental apartments, the building has been the subject of heated controversy. As 6sqft previously reported, in 2013 the complex was whitewashed of its colorful exterior murals under cover of night, and renderings surfaced for the rental towers that would replace it; as if to add insult to injury, the building’s owner, Jerry Wolkoff of G&M Realty, revealed plans to use the name 5Pointz as a marketing angle for the new development. Several attempts were made at intervention–and prevention of a similar fate for artists’ spaces since then. Now, the New York Times reports, a federal lawsuit filed by 23 5Pointz artists against Wolkoff, who ordered the art destroyed, is getting its day in court. On March 31, Judge Frederic Block of Federal District Court in Brooklyn ruled that the federal lawsuit against Wolkoff, who ordered the artwork destroyed–could have a jury trial, an incremental legal victory for the artists and a chance to confront Wolkoff in court to seek redress.
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It’s been three years since Long Island City‘s beloved graffiti mecca 5Pointz was whitewashed overnight and a year and a half since renderings first surfaced of the bland 41- and 47-story rental towers that would replace the site at 22-44 Jackson Avenue. Despite a perceived lack of respect towards the artistic community, G&M Realty’s David Wolkoff eventually said he planned to set aside 20 artists’ studios and displays to make up for those lost at 5Pointz, and it looks like he’s making good on his word. HTO Architect, who designed the towers, initially put forth views of a large public park and rotating mural exhibit that would fill the space between the buildings, and now 6sqft has uncovered renderings from Mojo Stumer of the artsy entryway, lobby and pool, which reveal the graffiti-inspired logo for the project.
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Watch out Hudson Yards, Midtown is moving east to Queens. The glassy ghetto formerly known as Long Island City is sprouting a small city worth of skyscrapers, ushering in thousands of new residents, hundreds of hotel rooms, and a few hundred thousand square feet of office space. To help us visualize the neighborhood’s upcoming transformation, the dynamos at Rockrose Development commissioned visualization experts Zum-3d to produce this exceptionally accurate depiction of the changes afoot. Inspired by the rendering, 6sqft has put together a rundown of the nearly 30 under-construction and proposed projects for the ‘hood.
See the full roster ahead
Photo via Garrett Ziegler/Flickr
It’s been 19 months since the 5Pointz graffiti mecca was secretly whitewashed overnight by the developers who have since razed the site to make way for the two residential towers that will replace it. Then, to pour salt in the wound, this past November G&M Realty announced that they planned to use the iconic 5Pointz name for their new project, infuriating the artists whose work adorned the building and leading them to launch a petition to stop the title.
Now, the plot has thickened. Nine graffiti artists filed a lawsuit on Friday “seeking unspecified damages from the owner who whitewashed away their artwork,” reports the Daily News. The plaintiffs claim they’re owed financial compensation as they were not given the opportunity to retrieve their work, much of which could have ended up in museums or the artists’ personal collections. The lost collection amounts to more than 350 graffiti pieces.
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5Pointz before being demolished via Garrett Ziegler/Flickr
Back in November we first got wind of G&M Realty’s plan to trademark the 5Pointz name and use it for their new residential towers at the site; now artists connected to the Long Island City graffiti mecca are fighting back. Father-son developers Jerry and David Wolkoff had their trademark application denied twice, most recently on January 6th, for being too similar to a California real estate company. Before their third go, artist Jonathan Cohen (aka MeresOne), who ran 5Pointz for ten years, has started an online campaign advocating to protect the storied name. So far the petition has 2,050 signatures, with a goal of 3,000.
More details on the 5Pointz feud
A photo capturing the 5Pointz demolition via changsterdam via photopin
The whitewashing and subsequent demolition of Long Island City graffiti mecca 5Pointz was painful enough for the arts community, but now G&M Realty, the developer responsible for the loss, wants to trademark the 5Pointz name and use it for their new residential towers at the site. And artists are not happy, saying the developer is trying to bank off their name.
G&M is planning two towers for the site, at 41 and 47 stories, that together will hold 1,000 rental units. The developer submitted an application to the United States Patent and Trademark Office in March to trademark “5Pointz,” but it was initially rejected in June for being too similar to another registrant. G&M now has six months to respond to the decision.
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If you loved 5Pointz, grab a box of tissues because you aren’t going to be happy with what’s planned for the soon to be demolished building. NY YIMBY has gotten his hands on new renderings of what will replace the former art mecca, and unsurprisingly, the towers are as ho hum residential as they come. The new design is the work of New York-based HTO Architect, and once complete, will hold 1,000 apartments within two towers of 41 and 47 stories each.
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