When you have the sort of interests that I do, a lot of time is spent looking through the little plexiglass windows of construction fences. Back in 2008, when the economy crashed and derailed a lot of the development plans, many of these temporary barriers became somewhat permanent fixtures. That’s no longer the case, obviously, as a surge of new construction is under way all over LIC. Unfortunately, one of the historic buildings we’ve already lost to this process is the former Neptune Meter Company factory building on Jackson Avenue nearby Court Square.
It’s not John Thomson’s Neptune Water meter company that we’ll miss though, instead it’s the street artist hub which was known as 5Pointz.
More after the jump…
The problem with demolition and construction style fencing, for the wandering photographer, is that it completely blocks any chance of a clear shot of what’s going on. Davis Street, pictured above, is overflown by the elevated tracks of the 7 train. It’s been one of LIC’s iconic locations, having turned up in dozens of movies and television productions, btw.
Those of you watching the TV show “Gotham” will recognize it instantly, as Gotham City’s set pieces seem to largely be a mish mash combination of the quasi industrial sides of LIC and Greenpoint.
Looking through the little plexiglass windows, which are filthy and offer optical distortions, pisses me off. For several years, I’ve been documenting the before and after process at work in LIC’s transmogrification from “America’s Workshop” to residential haven, and an occluded or cloudy POV is just not going to satisfy my desire for a decent shot of what’s going on here.
In my last post – Getting High, in LIC – panoramic shots of the tableau visible from the new Pearson LIC building’s rooftop were displayed. While I was up there, an effort was made to gather a few shots of the 5 Pointz demolition. As you can see, it’s moving along. Windows and non structural metal are gone, and the contractors have begun working on the series of smaller residential structures found along Jackson Avenue. There were crews doing drill tests at the rear of the property as well.
Personally, I reserve judgement on this one. I wish that the City itself, MOMA, or some arts organization would have been able to purchase and preserve the art space along the 7 line. We had the beginnings of cultural center in LIC there for awhile. I wish that the polychromatic energy of 5Pointz was still brightening up an otherwise drab and dreary section. I wish… well… that’s progress for you, I guess.
I’d really like to quote the Roman Historian Tacitus right here, specifically that old chestnut of his about the Romans creating a desert and calling it peace (“They rob, kill and plunder all under the deceiving name of Roman Rule. They make a desert and call it peace” ), but there’s another one from the old boy that I think is more appropriate:
“Inde consilium mihi … tradere … sine ira et studio, quorum causas procul habeo” which roughly translates as “my purpose is to relate… without either anger or zeal, motives from which I am far removed.”
Newtown Creek Alliance Historian Mitch Waxman lives in Astoria and blogs at Newtown Pentacle.