5 Pointz has always seemed a strange and beautiful safespot to me, a building covered in the paint of others. As a cultural center I believe it was an important vein of New York hip hop and art culture. I don't have a lick of capability as far as drawing nor painting, but the pantone wheel of color variation and variety of subject matter grabbed my full adoration and attention. The rattle of the 7 train past the building allowed a flash of creativity for commuters in the mornings.
It is a shame that it was whitewashed unceremoniously overnight by a division of police on November 19th. Done under the cover of dark, It was a destruction in the form of gallows humor; that an illicit art is destroyed by a similar institutional act. It came mere days after a fundraiser to help save the space as a New York City landmark. The painting and imminent razing of the building for high-rise condos is a physical reminder of the changing cultural makeups of the city, as they are whitewashed and toppled to make room for wealth and privilege.
One can come to the acceptance that the building owner has his right to the property, but it is hard not to feel a sense of sadness that there was no allotted ceremony for the cathartic release of the art by the creators and celebrators of the space. One also has to realize that the art was created due to a certain community and collective love of beauty in this city, moreso out of a feeling of purpose; the purpose to continually create with the immediate threat of destruction. Street art is transitory. It is not meant to stay, and that is what makes it beautiful. It's not the destruction itself; but the desecration of 20 years of history by a higher institutional power which makes this act so terrible.