Anthony Martinez, an artist from Queens, at 5Pointz after its owner ordered the graff|Bess Adler/Metro1/6 Anthony Martinez, an artist from Queens, at 5Pointz after its owner ordered the graff|Bess Adler/Metro
5Pointz was whitewashed early Tuesday morning.|Bess Adler/Metro2/6 5Pointz was whitewashed early Tuesday morning.|Bess Adler/Metro
The developer of 5Pointz said he ordered the paint job to end the “torture.”3/6 The developer of 5Pointz said he ordered the paint job to end the “torture.”
Artists came to mourn the loss at 5Pointz.|Bess Adler/Metro4/6 Artists came to mourn the loss at 5Pointz.|Bess Adler/Metro
5Pointz is considered the “graffiti Mecca.”|Bess Adler/Metro5/6 5Pointz is considered the “graffiti Mecca.”|Bess Adler/Metro
5Pointz will be demolished next year and turned into luxury apartments.6/6 5Pointz will be demolished next year and turned into luxury apartments.
Hours after nearly all the graffiti at 5Pointz was covered in white paint, artists made another pilgrimage to theoutdoor art exhibit and "graffiti Mecca" in Long Island City — this time, to mourn.
"It was more than just graffiti," said Dready Kruger, an emcee who did music for 5Pointz events. "I met people from all around the world at this place."
- Celebrity deaths 2018: All the stars we lost too soon 45 Pictures
- 10 finalists for TIME Person of the Year 2018 11 Pictures
Jerry Wolkoff, who owns the 200,000 square feet of warehouses, ordered the early Tuesday paint job in preparation for the property's demolition next year.
"I thought it was better to do so we don't go through this torture," Wolkoff said, noting the demolition will take months. "Imagine every time a bulldozer goes by and another piece goes —I'd imagine it'd be torture to them, the artists. If I were able to blow up the building one time, I would."
Wolkoff plans to turn the site into luxury housing, a move approved by City Council in October. A lawsuit was filed in federal court by 17 graffiti artists hoping to save the art, but a judge refused to issue an injunction against the demolition last week.
Artists tried to designate 5Pointz as a landmark, but the warehouses didn't meet the city's qualifications, Wolkoff said.
"They paint over their stuff over and over again," he said. "If it were landmarked, they could never paint there again."
The development will include 32,100 feet of public space, a park playing homage to the site's artistic past, art studios and 10,000 square feet of wall space designated for aerosol art.
5Pointz curator Jonathan Cohen, who led the lawsuit against the demolition, will oversee the new space, officials said.
"Here at my new building they'll be able to come back and do aerosol again," Wolkoff said.
Still, artists feel 5Pointz deserved better.
"Something like this isn't just a building," graffiti artist Chayenne Chaka said in October. "It's a piece of history."
Wolkoff said he watched workers paint 5Pointz starting around 2 a.m. Tuesday, leaving at 6:30 a.m., when most of the work was completed.
He said he teared up when watching the art painted over.
"We take the medicine now, it's over with, we go on," Wolkoff said.
Follow Anna Sanders on Twitter: @AnnaESanders