LONG ISLAND CITY — With 5Pointz facing the threat of demolition, one Long Island City resident has been publicly offering up his own solution to save the Queens graffiti mecca: move it to MoMA PS1 across the street — an idea that was met with skepticism by the art group.
Kris Schrey, who lives nearby and runs a local parents group, thinks MoMA PS1 could offer up the gray walls outside the museum's exterior as a canvas for graffiti artists, who are likely to be displaced by a plan to tear down 5Pointz to build two luxury apartment towers.
"I think it's just common sense. Why didn’t anybody think about it earlier?" said Schrey, who first wrote about the idea in a weekly newsletter for his Long Island City Parents Group.
"It’s the same target demographics — the same people, the same kind of tourists, are interested in graffiti who are interested in modern art," Schrey said.
But Marie Cecile Flageul, an event planner who serves as a 5Pointz spokesperson, said the group thought the idea was well-intentioned but impractical.
"I love that people have ideas and they talk about it, but it's obviously coming from someone who doesn’t know anything about the building," she said, referring to the 200,000-square-foot factory space at 45-46 Davis St. that 5Pointz currently calls home.
"We're certainly not going to compromise and take two cement walls across the street," she added, saying 5Pointz artists produce over a thousand pieces a year and that dozens of artists work at the space every weekend.
The group is fighting a plan that would tear down the graffiti-covered warehouses to build a luxury housing development. The developer, David Wolkoff, whose family has owned the building for decades, included space for art walls and artists studios in the plan as an homage to 5Pointz.
But artists were not satisfied by the offer, and Flageul says they're trying to get the building landmarked.
Wolkoff is applying to the city to build larger than current zoning allows — about 1,000 rental apartments — but can tear down the current buildings and build at the space as-of-right.