5 Pointz, in Long Island City, Queens, New York, has been a mecca for hip-hop culture and a proving ground for street artists around the world since the 1990’s.
On Tuesday morning, residents of the area and anyone riding the 7 train, that passes the building each morning, awoke to a white-walled 5 Pointz; every wall around the building had been painted over, white.
“I can imagine going one piece, by piece, and going through hell, torture for everybody,” said owner David Wolkoff, a real estate developer, in an interview wit NBC 4 New York. “So I said, ‘Let me do it one time and end this torture one time.”
Walkoff compared his move to forcing a child to drink medicine; he later padded his comments in an interview with New York magazine.
In October, Wolkoff’s plan to develop a $400 million dollar 1,000-unit apartment complex in place of 5 Pointz was approved by the New York City Council.
The new complex will feature 210 affordable housing units and an allocated 10,000-square feet for art panels, that might one day feature some of the surviving artists that immortalized 5 Pointz for a generation.
The name “5 Pointz” signifies the unity and convergence of the five boroughs that make up the city, but the structure had become a canvas for the international street art and hip-hop community over the years.
Artists and fans around the world responded to Walkoff’s actions in dismay. One patron added that it didn’t make sense and was disrespectful to paint over a building that was already going to be demolished.
Hip-hop’s seen better days, no doubt.