Tony Goldman, Curator of Bowery Graffiti Wall, Dies at 68

Posted on: September 14th, 2012 at 6:18 am by

Tony Goldman, real estate figure and curator of the Bowery graffiti wall, died in New York City on Tuesday from heart failure, Miami New Times reports.  He was 68.

A developer of luxury living, Goldman helped transform South Beach into a nightlife destination and Wynwood into an art sector.

As Vanishing New York points out, Haute Living once called him “the founder of New York’s Soho… He was a pioneer into the area, snatching up properties as quickly as he could…renovating and turning them into lofts, the living style of the future.”

Goldman is probably best known around these parts for commercializing the oft-targeted slab of concrete near the corner of Bowery and East Houston (he owns the building adjacent). Initially teaming up with art deal Jeffrey Deitch in 2008, the graffiti wall “revival” began with a tribute to Keith Haring’s mural of same from the 1980s. Its popularity grew from there, and a special Pink Floyd-esque encasement was built to both protect the original and offer a larger canvas. Now everyone and their mother wants a piece.

July 2008

It’ll be interesting to see what happens with the proposed two-story building for his property at 76 East Houston, formerly home to Billy’s Antiques.

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  • SoHo Resident

    Not wishing to speak unkindly of the dead, but, wanting to set the historical record straight: Goldman was a Legend in his Own Mind.

    He may have jump started South Beach but in no way was he a “founder of SoHo”.
    He repeated that to so many journalists, some actually fell for it.

    He owned only three buildings out of hundreds in SoHo – and his AIR tenants hated him because he was basically a pretty avaricious landlord. Further, he tried – and failed – to turn SoHo into a nightlife venue like South Beach.

    The true “founders” of SoHo had lots of trouble with him.

  • Miles Berger

    I met Tony in Newark NJ where he was brought in by a foundation to help rejuvenate a blighted section of downtown. From that meeting i became his friend and visited his fabulous hotel creations in South Beach. Tony was truly ahead of his time, and an excellent real estate operator. I wish his family well in their time of sorrow.