Weeks After $8.2 Million Sale, Franklin Avenue Bob Marley Mural Comes Down

By Sonja Sharp on May 16, 2012 9:49am | Updated on May 16, 2012 9:52am

CROWN HEIGHTS — You might not know Cheney Orr, but if you've visited Franklin Avenue in the past two years, you almost certainly know his artwork. 

On Wednesday, Orr, 21, got up extra early and rushed to the corner of Franklin and Eastern where his black-and-white painting of Bob Marley was about to be torn down. The painting is part of an extensive community mural surrounding the enormous vacant lot at the corner and an icon of the new neighborhood.

"It sucks, but it's street art, so it's not something that's meant to really last," Orr said of the graffiti art, which he made during a community project two years ago. "It's just going to be a big ugly building there, and I'm not psyched about that."

Orr and his family have been in the neighborhood long enough to remember when that lot was a 99 cent store. It sat vacant for about two years before the mural was erected around it with support from the then-owner and the 77th Precinct. The Marley mural stood remained for two years before the lot sold for $8.2 million.

Workers on the site Wednesday morning confirmed that they would be dismantling the portion of the mural that sits on Eastern Parkway. Developer Pinnacle Realty did not return calls for comment. 

"It doesn't surprise me," Orr said. "They're in a serious booming spot." 

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