The former 5Pointz. Photo: Pelle Sten/Flickr.

Judge Upholds $6.7 Million in Damages to Be Awarded to 5Pointz Artists

Four months after Judge Frederic Block awarded twenty-one artists $6.7 million in damages after ruling that developer Gerald Wolkhoff had broken the law when he whitewashed New York’s famous 5Pointz graffiti mecca in the dead of night, the federal judge will not back down from his verdict. On Wednesday, June 13, Block issued a cutting decision rejecting Wolkhoff’s post-trial motion to void the judgment or grant a new trial, according to Artnet.

In an eighty-nine-page assessment, Block says he was “appalled” at Wolkhoff’s decision to white out the graffiti on the factory’s walls, an action the developer claimed was carried out because he would have lost millions in tax credits if the building wasn’t demolished before the end of 2014. “I found out at the trial that Wolkoff had misled me at the preliminary injunction hearing,” Block wrote. “I was misled that the demolition of the buildings was imminent when there was not even an application for a demolition permit extant.” Wolkhoff didn’t apply for permits to raze the buildings until the following March, and demolition began that August. Wolkhoff’s attorney, Meir Feder of the Jones Day firm, plans to appeal Block’s ruling to the circuit court.

In the meantime, 5Pointz now serves as the name for Wolkhoff’s latest ongoing project—the creation of two luxury residential towers in the former location of the graffiti haven.