Graffiti lovers are in mourning after the heavily decorated walls of the landmark 5Pointz building in New York City were painted white on Tuesday night.
For years, the yellow warehouse on the southwestern tip of Queens, just opposite the contemporary-arts museum MoMA PS1, has served as a veritable “United Nations of Graffiti,” attracting artists and tourists alike from around the globe, the New York Times reports.
Ongoing plans to demolish the building have drawn a lot of criticism, among others from street artist Banksy, who featured Save 5Pointz as the last words on a website that accompanied his recent monthlong clandestine New York City residency.
Owner Jerry Wolkoff, a self-declared lover of the graffiti artworks, said painting over them was the most humane thing to do ahead of tearing the building down. The luxury apartment towers that will be erected in the place of 5Pointz will include studio space and a 60-ft. (18 m) wall for graffiti artists.