This morning, Meres One, the curator of the "graffiti Mecca" 5 Pointz for 11 years, woke up to workers on a cherry picker whitewashing the tags, throw-ups, and murals that covered the warehouse in Long Island City. He shut off the cherry picker while the painters were buffing 5 Pointz, leaving them stranded above the ground. Despite his attempts to save 5 Pointz from developers and building owners Jerry and David Wolkoff, who was granted permission by the New York City Planning Commission to build a residential and retail space on the site, the space had been almost entirely painted over between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m. this morning.
Meres told us what happened and voiced his frustration with failed attempts to grand 5 Pointz landmark status:
Between the hours of 1 a.m. and 4 a.m., our landlord brought all his illegal workers from out in Long Island out here to paint the building. As far as I'm concerned, I still have no awareness of any permits to have high-lows working on this building. There was no caution tape, no safety workers underneath. And as far as I know, these are things that you need legally to do what he did—but he did in the middle of our federal suit, which will continue by the way. My other complaint is to landmark commission: you quickly turned down our individual first application for landmark status and have still yet to respond to us about the 5,143 filled out completed landmark forms that were submitted after that, which would only allow us at least to get evaluated—forget about landmark status—to even just be evaluated. Thank you, landmark status for doing what you do. Maybe you should be—how the landmark status is done.
This afternoon, Meres taped up white paper on 5 Pointz, creating a makeshift memorial for the covered art. Passersby are invited to sign the papers with a Sharpie and leave messages about 5 Pointz. Tonight, Meres will also host a candlelit ceremony at sunset.
Meres also spoke angrily of Jerry Wolkoff's decision to destroy 5 Pointz: "Jerry, I hope you enjoy your legacy that's going to be following you for the rest of your life, and your son's life. No one's going to remember you for any of your real estate ventures, but they will remember you for this. And the bigger the art form gets, the more people will hate you. Enjoy."