5Pointz Artists Win Another Small Stay of Building Demolition
Billy Gray Oct. 30, 2013, 12:58 p.m.
Sixteen artists who filed a lawsuit against developer G&M Realty over the demolition of Long Island City graffiti compound 5Pointz received a bit of good news yesterday when Judge Frederick Block extended a restraining order against demolition preparation by another 14 days, through November 12.
Judge Block issued a similar 10-day order on October 21. The artists and their legal representation, which includes attorney Jeannine Chanes, invoked an obscure law prohibiting the destruction of artwork in a suit filed earlier this month.
As part of the decision with longer-term potential, Judge Block also ordered a hearing regarding a possible preliminary injunction that would delay demo prep until the lawsuit is settled. That process could take over a year, the LIC Post reported. Ms. Chanes and her clients argue that the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990–which defends against the destruction or alteration of works installed inextricably in buildings–is perfectly tailored to the 5Pointz aerosol museum.
The City Council approved G&M’s plans for two luxury high-rise apartment towers on October 10. At the time, G&M owners David and Jerry Wolkoff planned to start demolishing 5Pointz by the end of the year. The Wolkoff’s development would include 1,000 luxury units between the 41- and 47-story towers.