Long Island City looking to compromise on fate of 5 Pointz

Posted at 7:11 PM, Jun 21, 2013
and last updated 2013-06-21 19:11:48-04

Long Island City, QUEENS (PIX11) — For many subway riders, 5 Pointz is the welcome sign to Queens.

“Sometimes when you go over the 7 train you see artists in the process, making these great works,” Naqi Cruz said of 5 Poitz.

For years artists have spray-painted, tagged, and tricked out the entire building with the owner’s permission.

The building is so popular; people from all over the world come to Queens just to take pictures.

People like Adrian O’Dwyer.

“Yeah it’s well known, back home Melbourne is pretty much the street art capital of Australia, everyone would know 5Pointz,” O’Dwyer said.

But with building booming in Long Island City, the owner says he’s finally ready to cash in.

He plans to knock down 5 Pointz in favor to two high-rise apartment buildings.

“And right now that property is worth gold, we’re talking millions and millions,” Rob MacKay
of the Queens Tourism Council said.

The new apartment buildings would bring thousands of new residents and plenty of money to the growing neighborhood.

But Kris Schrey, President of the Long Island City Parents Group, said there’s just one problem.

“The only downside is the artists who are currently using 5 Pointz as a canvas would be displaced.”

So instead of completely displacing the graffiti artists Schrey says why not just move them across the street.  He says these Cold War, bunker-style walls of MoMA’s P.S. 1 would not only make a great canvas for the art work, but that it would fit in line with the tone of the museum as well.

“I think a contemporary art museum like MoMA’s P.S. 1 and the graffiti art on the outside walls would create the perfect synergy,” Schrey said.

If MoMA agrees, MacKay said he thinks it could be the perfect partnership.

“They would do it tastefully, they would do it artfully, and I’m pretty sure the community would get behind it.”

MoMA did not respond to our request for comment on the idea.