As the demolition date of the graffiti mecca known as 5Pointz gets closer, one Long Island City resident has come up with a proposal to save the art that covers the building.
Kris Schrey, co-organizer of the Long Island City Parents Group, proposed moving the art from 5Pointz onto the concrete walls surrounding MoMA PS1 across the street. Schrey developed this idea after stepping out of a public hearing at PS1 in May during which the Wolkoff family, owners of 5Pointz, discussed their special permit application.
The Wolkoff family, which has owned 5Pointz for decades, plans to demolish the graffiti-covered warehouses on Jackson Avenue and Davis Street and begin construction on apartment towers by the end of the year. Although Community Board 2 voted against the special permit in June, the Wolkoffs can still demolish and build at the space in keeping with their rights as owners.
Schrey’s idea first appeared in a weekly newsletter for his parents’ group.
“Could there be a better synergy than between MoMA’s high concept art and mind-numbing street art of the aerosol kind?” Schrey wrote in the column. “This ‘concrete’ solution would provide a new, better, lasting home for your graffiti: more space, more visibility, more foot traffic and maybe the museum could even carve out some office space for Jonathan Cohen’s graffiti group.”
According to Schrey, the new apartment towers would bring residents that could help boost the businesses in the area and help the community.
But for 5Pointz spokesperson Marie Cecile Flageul, the idea came with good intentions but unreasonable solutions.
“Three walls at PS1 wouldn’t cut it. I think it’s a laughable idea, in the sense that it is funny and great that there is a parent association in Long Island City and as a resident he is trying to come up with ideas” she said. “But don’t you think before making a statement about this, you should have spoken to both parties involved?”
According to Flageul, if there were any need or willingness from the museum, MoMA PS1 would have already reached out to the artists. She believes the warehouse should be maintained to make the area cleaner and safer for both artists and visitors.
Schrey hopes to speak with members of 5Pointz and the community in the weeks to come and later present his idea to MoMA PS1 MoMA PS1 did not respond as of press time.