WHITEWASH: New York May Have Just Committed The Art Crime Of The Decade

It’s a dark day for the New York City street art scene.

5 Pointz, the 200,000-square-foot warehouse that was long a centrepiece for New York City street artists, was whitewashed last night.

The building, which has served as an exhibition space for top graffiti artists for more than a decade, is slated to become luxury condominiums.

Artists and fans rallied to save the colourful space, but last week, a federal judge denied an injunction to preserve the property, effectively allowing the demolition process to begin.

We visited the space last year, when rumours of its demise were just beginning to surface. Click through for a look at 5 Pointz before it was whitewashed.

A look down the long wall and you knew this building was special.

Meres One (NYC) / Semor (from Germany)

The 200,000-square-foot warehouse in Queens was home to 5 Pointz, a mecca of street art.

Esteban Del Valle (Chicago)

The name was supposed to signify the five boroughs of New York City.

Meres One (NYC) / Auks

The complex was first established in 1993 as a showcase for artists.

Meres One (NYC) / Auks

Artist Jonathan Cohen started curating the work in 2001.

Meres One (NYC) / Zeso (France) / Cortes (Columbia)

Artists from all over the world have painted on the building's walls.

Meres One (NYC) / Zeso (France) / Cortes (Columbia)

It had been a destination for tourists from around the world.

Conan

Some art was political.

There were plenty of pop culture references.

Pablo Mustafa

'The X-Men' made an appearance.

So did Batman.

Anonymous (London, U.K.)

Artists left their mark on this wall.

Meres One (NYC)

There have been many of them over the years.

Meres One (NYC)

Below their tags was the massive wall of colour.

Cyphy (Ariz.) / Meres One (NYC) / Yok / Creepy (Australia)

Crowds of tourists would gather and snap pictures.

Meres One (NYC)

Everywhere you turned, you would see something incredible.

Twin

You may have even caught an artist working on his latest creation.

Some of the faces on the walls were breathtaking. This is Tupac Shakur.

Bekor (France)

An incredible level of detail.

James Cochran (Australia)

It's hard to believe this was done with a can of spray paint.

James Cochran (Australia)

And that this isn't a painted canvas.

Cseetf

As you walked along, you would see respect for art history.

Ruben / Zimer / Sen 2

That's a shoutout to Salvador DalĂ­.

Zimer

Alongside some seriously loud colours.

Ruben / Zimer / Sen 2

It was a building rich in modern street art.

And history.

Mr. Plume (France)

And style.

Mr. Blob (Italy)

But no longer.

This was 5 Pointz a day ago.

Siende

And here's the building as of this morning.

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