How a New York Developer Gentrified the #$&*!# Out of a Graffiti Landmark

By 2013, 5Pointz was a dead building with living skin.

Along the former factory’s flank slept a giantess in a sky-blue headscarf, beside a bright orange tiger in mid-leap; on a nearby door, Vincent Van Gogh stared out at a starry night. Skulls and grinning light-bulbs and a blunt-smoking Batman and even a three-eyed Homer Simpson swarmed across the brickwork, there one week and gone the next, always replaced by new characters. Most of the building’s interior might have been an abandoned wreck, but the…